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First aid lesson helps teacher save mum’s life

Peter Green of Welsh Ambulance Service with John-Lloyd Williams Deputy Head Teacher (Welsh Ambulance Service)

A TEACHER who had received a lesson in first aid from the Welsh Ambulance Service had to put his skills to the test when his mother had a cardiac arrest.

John-Lloyd Williams 32, of Bridgend, and the Deputy Head Teacher of Llandough Primary School, received a frantic call from his father, stating that his mother was experiencing chest pains, weakness and shortness of breath – many signs of a heart attack which could then lead to cardiac arrest.

His father, Kieth, had called 999, but John rushed to their nearby home to help whilst a rapid response paramedic and an emergency ambulance made their way to the scene.

John said: “I was at home a couple of days before Christmas when my dad rang and explained that mum, Anne wasn’t well and described her symptoms.

“Shortly after I got there, a paramedic arrived and had a defibrillator with him.

“It looked basically as though mum had died in front of us – it turns out she had had a cardiac arrest.

“In between the paramedic shocking mum three times with the defibrillator, I was pumping on her chest providing CPR and we got her back.

“The ambulance and the helicopter turned up next and they took her to Morriston Hospital where she had two stents fitted.

“She phoned us about an hour after the operation to tell us she was fine.”

Just weeks before the incident occurred, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Health Board Clinical Lead in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, Peter Green, had delivered a first aid training course to staff at Llandough Primary which included training in how to deliver Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Peter, 50, who joined the ambulance service on a youth training scheme at 15-years-old in 1987, said: “We have a relationship with the school through our Patient Experience and Community Engagement team and run sessions for the staff and also for the children when they are studying topics on the human body and medicine.

“The session I delivered in November was the British Heart Foundation’s Save A Life training, which includes the CPR.

“It was actually the first time I’d been there so turned out to be quite timely.

“It’s a big part of what we do and it’s great to be able to engage with the schools in the community where I live and work.

“If we can roll out training into the wider community to give people the confidence to step forward in a person’s time of need then that’s the best we can do to improve survival rates from cardiac arrest.

“You couldn’t write what happened to John and his mother and it’s great he was equipped with the skills and to help.

“I’m just really pleased we were able to help in this way.

“It’s fantastic news to hear John’s mother has made a good recovery.”

Of the training he received, John said: “I had had some first aid training many years ago but if you don’t use it you lose it as they say.

“It’s important to have the knowledge and have it kept up-to-date.

“It is very important and does make a difference in helping to save lives in the school and the community.

“Peter came in on a staff intern day after Halloween, it was a great refresher and vital in giving me the confidence to help.

“The school and I are very grateful to Peter for the sessions he runs here.”

If you wish to discuss how the Welsh Ambulance Service can assist your school or community group get skilled-up on first aid, email [email protected]