A COUPLE who saved a man’s life while they were on holiday by performing CPR have urged everyone to learn the vital technique.
Janice Hill and her partner Toni Sinden, from Waterlooville, were holidaying on the Greek island of Zakynthos when they witnessed a man being dragged out of the sea.
The women rushed over to help Sakis Mouzaki, who is from the nearby village of Amoudi.
‘He was lifeless. He wasn’t breathing and he had no pulse. His friends stood there looking at him as they didn’t know how to help,’ said Ms Hill.
Fortunately both women knew CPR and immediately began chest compressions on Mr Mouzaki, before being joined by a doctor, who was on the beach.
Ms Hill, 63, said: ‘I have no idea how long Toni and I were doing compressions for, but then we heard this reassuring voice of a young woman say “I’m a doctor”.’
The three women then worked together for about 30 minutes before they were able to restart Mr Mouzaki’s heart.
‘When I saw him take his first gasp, I knew he was alive,’ said Ms Hill.
‘It was a very traumatic experience and there were lots of tears. There is no answer to give when someone thanks you for saving their life. But the situation could have been so different.’
More than 30,000 cardiac arrests happen out of hospital in the UK each year and less than one in ten of these people survive, according to the British Heart Foundation.
Ms Hill and Ms Sinden, 41, of Farriers Way, are calling on more people to take the time to learn CPR.
Retired Ms Hill learnt the lifesaving skill in her job as a Ministry of Defence police officer, while Ms Sinden, a merchandiser, was taught at college.
Ms Hill said: ‘Please learn CPR because you can save a life. It’s not hard to learn and it won’t take up much of your time. Anyone can learn it and I encourage people to teach children too. You never know when the person next to you stops breathing and you need to use it.’
David Bird-Newell is a qualified first aider from Solent First Aid, which provide training courses in the area.
He said: ‘Everyone should have a basic first aid skill set. It is important that people learn the skills and learn the difference between providing care to adult and children. It could be any member of your family who needs help and how wonderful it would be if you had the skills to be able to save the life of your nearest and dearest.
‘CPR is easy to do and even if you don’t have time to do a first aid course, you can learn from online videos. CPR is just one part of first aid training, but it is one of the most vital to learn.’
St John Ambulance’s community first aid courses teach a range of simple life saving techniques to people of all ages in short, easy-to-access training sessions,
Marita Edwards, from St John Ambulance, said: ‘First aid is simple to learn, but it can have an incredible impact, as this incident shows. In just a couple of hours you could learn what to do when someone is in cardiac arrest, and keep them alive until the emergency services arrive. It gives you the confidence to do the right thing when it really counts.’
A step-by-step guide on performing CPR is available on the British Heart Foundation website at bhf.org.uk.
Or download the free St John Ambulance mobile app, which provides easy to follow first aid advice.