First aider has heart at­tack at jazz night to buy life-sav­ing kit

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Ai­dan Bar­low

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.

Pic­ture: St John Am­bu­lance

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