'Free Wheeler' saves man's life just weeks after LIVES first aid training
Keith Edwards had undergone a LIVES training session delivered to Freemasons at the Free Wheelers Motorcycle Lodge meeting, and then he went on to put this training to very good use on New Year’s Eve.
“The lady from LIVES gave us an excellent talk about what to do if ever we were faced with someone suffering a heart attack,” Keith said, “Using a dummy torso and a defibrillator she taught us what to do. All very interesting, but at the time little did I know just how useful it would prove to be. That all changed on the morning of December 31, 2023.”
Keith and his wife had been spending the Christmas period in their static caravan at Ashby Park, near Horncastle, and their neighbour was taken ill.
“We know Ron and Wendy quite well, having been caravan neighbours for some years,” Keith said, “Ron has a history of heart problems and had a triple by-pass the previous year.”
Upon dashing over to Ron’s caravan, Keith found Ron unresponsive on the sofa, and with another neighbour, Keith laid Ron onto the floor and started the chest compressions while Wendy called emergency services, and he told her to contact the office for the defib machine.
Keith recalled: “It had only been a short time, but I was definitely feeling the effects of giving the CPR and the other neighbour took over.
"Ron was now showing signs of returning to consciousness, but was very faint and disorientated.”
The park’s site manager quickly arrived with the defibrillator and Keith began following the instructions, sticking the pads onto Ron’s where illustrated.
"As instructed, we stopped the CPR whilst the machine analysed Ron’s heart,” Keith explained, “The machine stated that a shock was required, and so the red button was pressed and the shock delivered.
"We were instructed to continue chest compressions, again sharing the task.”
Ron regained consciousness, and the operator told Keith and his neighbour to stop CPR and to keep him talking.
“We kept Ron as calm as we could and waited for the ambulance. Every so often the defib machine would instruct us to cease contact as it re-checked his heart, but he needed no further shocks or compressions.”
The ambulance then arrived, which Keith described as “the most welcome sound I have heard in a long time”, and after stabilising him, the ambulance crew took Ron to hospital.
Ron is now recovering in Lincoln County Hospital.
Keith said he felt “very weird” once the ambualnce crew arrived to take care of Ron:
"I couldn’t speak, and a wave of emotion hit me,” he said, “I suspect it was coming down from the adrenalin rush.”
Now, Keith is urging anyone who has the opportunity to get first aid training, as you never know when it could be needed to save a life:
"If you get the opportunity to attend one of the LIVES training sessions, don’t hesitate. You CAN make a difference.”
LIVES chief executive Nikki Cooke said: “What a fantastic story to start the new year! Anyone can save a life. Sometimes it's just about being confident to step forward.
"Our LIVES Community Volunteers deliver CPR sessions at organisations, marketplaces, and schools across Lincolnshire.
"Since 2018, we have taught lifesaving training to thousands of adults and school children in our county. Our volunteers give their time to teach invaluable skills that could make the difference between life and death."
To find out more about LIVES first aid training, visit https://www.lives.org.uk/