Age Con­cern head takes job lit­er­ally

CHB Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

The chair­man of Age Con­cern Hawke’s Bay took a very hands-on ap­proach to his role re­cently, when he was called on to help save the life of an el­derly woman in a Waipawa su­per­mar­ket.

Just a day be­fore his own 78th birth­day Terry Kingston was wait­ing in line at Four Square Waipawa when his at­ten­tion was drawn to a woman sit­ting on a chair near the check­out.

Terry, who spent 15 years as a Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay dis­trict coun­cil­lor, said “A lady was sit­ting in the rest chair they have in the store and look­ing very pale. As I looked at her she went the colour of milk. It was ob­vi­ous some­thing was very wrong.”

Terry and Four Square Waipawa su­per­vi­sor Tasha Franklin rushed to check for a pulse and find­ing none Tasha di­alled 111 to call an am­bu­lance. She then put the phone on speaker.

The emer­gency ser­vices op­er­a­tor told Terry to be­gin CPR.

“The lady had de­te­ri­o­rated. Her toes and fin­gers were pur­ple. I started to do CPR.

“We were all el­derly there, ex­cept for the su­per­vi­sor. I am 78 and the other peo­ple help­ing were prob­a­bly even older,” he said.

“I did four bursts to start with but the op­er­a­tor told me I had to keep go­ing. CPR has changed a lit­tle since I first learned it as a Boy Scout 60 years ago, and my last re­fresher course was at least 16 years ago.

“I knew to put firm pres­sure in the mid­dle of the chest and be­tween the op­er­a­tor giv­ing me in­struc­tions and the con­tri­bu­tion of Tasha I just re­sponded and did what I had to do,” he said.

“My own adren­a­line was pump­ing and I thought ‘I’m do­ing this, and that’s all there is to it’.”

Terry says he was kneel­ing in a com­fort­able po­si­tion and the large amount of fit­ness work he’s done over the past two years meant he felt no fa­tigue and was pre­pared to con­tinue for as long as it took.

“The lady started to come round — I said ‘Oh my God she’s breath­ing’ — and we put her into the re­cov­ery po­si­tion. I looked up and there were the St John Am­bu­lance staff com­ing in the door. I left them to it.”

Terry says he was been amazed at the sat­is­fac­tion he felt, be­ing able to do some­thing about the sit­u­a­tion.

“For me, this in­ci­dent was one oldie look­ing af­ter a fel­low oldie. It’s what I’d want some­one to do for me.

“I just hap­pened to be in the right po­si­tion at the right time, and I am so pleased I did it. With­out be­ing dra­matic, it was ac­tu­ally very re­ward­ing.”

Terry still doesn’t know who his pa­tient was.

“She was from Taradale and she was able to tell us she’d left her car parked nearby, with a friend sit­ting in it. Even­tu­ally Po­lice lo­cated the car and were able to let the friend know what had oc­curred.”

Terry says he is now fa­mil­iaris­ing him­self with the lo­ca­tions of AED de­vices (de­fib­ril­la­tors) around CHB.

“That would have made the dif­fer­ence if our pa­tient had not re­sponded. We have AEDs lo­cated all over our com­mu­ni­ties and they are vi­tal pieces of equip­ment.” ■ To find AEDde­vices near you, go to aed­lo­ca­tions.co.nz ■ You can also down­load an AED Lo­ca­tions app from www. health­nav­i­ga­tor.org.nz

Terry Kingston re­laxes at home af­ter a week that in­volved cel­e­brat­ing his birth­day and sav­ing a stranger’s life.

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