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Treherbert woman saves her husband’s life just days after completing first aid course

Elaine photographed with her husband, Alun.

Elaine was on her way home from work when she received a call that her 64-year-old husband Alun was feeling extremely unwell. Thankfully, she had just finished her official First Aid at Work training, so had the skills and knowledge required to save her loved one’s life.

Elaine’s daughter who lives nearby quickly rushed to their family home and as Elaine got to the scene, Alun’s condition had worsened considerably. He stopped breathing and Elaine promptly called 999.

Elaine had completed her three-day First Aid at Work course with St John Ambulance Cymru Trainer Lisa at the charity’s headquarters in Cardiff just two days prior, so knew how to carry out the primary survey, monitor Alun’s breathing and deliver CPR.

Thankfully, after a few rounds of chest compressions and rescue breaths, Alun began breathing again. He remained stable until paramedics arrived and was taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, where he stayed for three days. The family later learned his cardiac arrest had been triggered by an epileptic seizure.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the first aid skills I learnt from Lisa” Elaine said, “I was sceptical about doing the fist aid course and I was thinking about missing it, but I’m so thankful I did attend now.”

“The whole experience was so scary, I never thought I’d have to do CPR on anyone, let alone a member of my family.”

 The couple, who have been married for almost 40 years, are still recovering both mentally and physically from the incident. Alun is on new medication and is attending regular medical check-ups, but he is on the mend. The couple are so thankful for those lifesaving skills Elaine learnt, as her prompt action saved his life that day.

Kate Evans, Head of Workplace Training at St John Ambulance Cymru commented: “Elaine’s story is a perfect example of why first aid is so important, it really does save lives.

“We are passionate about empowering people with first aid skills, so they can act swiftly in times of crisis and more lives can be saved.

“We’d like to wish Alun all the best with his recovery and commend Elaine for the way she put her newly acquired skills into practice.”

Elaine was so thankful she had gained new first aid skills with St John Ambulance Cymru, as they were a lifeline in that moment.