First aider has heart attack at jazz night to buy life-saving kit
A first aid volunteer has praised colleagues for saving his life after he suffered a heart attack at a charity evening.
St John Ambulance members organised a jazz night at Godinton House, near Ashford, last month, when area manager Steve Walker suddenly fell ill.
The 59-year-old had wandered away from the group, when colleague and district manager Dave Amos heard a commotion at the other end of the garden as people called for a first aider.
Mr Amos said: “I instantly thought Steve must have come across someone who needed our help. I ran over, but when I got there, it was Steve who had collapsed.”
Mr Walker had stopped breathing so Mr Amos, supported by trained first aiders Ray Ashman and Dr Ian Jutting, performed CPR.
There were about 200 people at the jazz night organised by St John Ambulance to raise funds for public defibrillators.
Mr Amos was able to go to his car to fetch a defibrillator at the critical moment. St John Ambulance area manager Steve Walker, second left, who had a heart attack, with Ray Ashman, Dave Amos and Dr Ian Jutting
He said: “I’m pretty sure everyone left the evening fully appreciating why it’s so important to have this equipment available in public places.”
Meanwhile Mr Walker, from Littlebourne, near Canterbury, was taken to the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, where he woke up in A&E before he was a treated for a blocked artery.
He said: “I was having a really lovely evening, enjoying the jazz and catching up with my friends. The next thing I knew, I woke up in hospital having had a cardiac arrest.
“It was very sudden – I’d had no pain, no warnings really.
“The team did an excellent job and I can’t praise them enough.
“I was so fortunate to be amongst friends and colleagues who were so well trained.
“I never thought I’d be on the receiving end of CPR, but my story shows exactly why it’s better to know what to do and to be able to just get on with it.
“If I’d have been at home by myself, the outcome probably would have been very different. I owe them my life.”
‘I was so fortunate to be amongst friends and colleagues who were so well trained’
To find out more about St John Ambulance, visit www.sja. org.uk or telephone 08700 104950.