IF IT wasn’t for a quick-thinking cleaner at hotel he was staying in, David Wilbourne wouldn’t be celebrating Easter this year.
The 59-year-old army veteran was staying at the Red Lion Hotel in Cosham when he had a bad reaction to a painkiller he took.
Cleaner Gina Chaudri, 38, was on her daily rounds when she entered David’s room at the Portsmouth hotel and saw him on his bed, blue in the face and unable to breathe.
Gina, who lives in Cosham, quickly fetched the hotel manager and called for an ambulance.
An emergency call-taker told them to move David onto the floor before talking Gina through giving life-saving CPR.
Gina said: ‘She was just telling me to pump his chest – one, two, three four.
‘The paramedics turned up when I was still pumping his chest and gave him an injection.
‘They said “well done” and that if I hadn’t got to him he would have died.’
David, who lives in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, had come over to Cosham to watch the Grand National and place a few bets.
He said he is registered disabled and suffers from chronic ulcers and deep vein thrombosis – which causes blood clots in veins.
David said: ‘Having walked a little further than I should have that day I took a swig of Oramorph which is a very strong painkiller.
‘I must have had a bad reaction to it which stopped me from breathing, because all I can remember is getting woken up by the ambulance service the next day.’
David stayed overnight at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
He then discharged himself and made his way back to the Isle of Wight.
David said he was ‘very glad’ Gina was there to save his life.
He said: ‘It was very scary, it could have been a lot worse. I gave her a big hug and had a tear in my eye.’
Gina said the rescue, which happened about 11am on April 6, made for one of her more interesting days on the job.
She said: ‘At first I think I just went into a zone, but afterwards when I thought about it I was pretty shocked. I’ve never done anything like that before. I was quite proud to have saved his life.’
David spent 20 years in the army and was stationed in Northern Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Portsmouth.
A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We are always really grateful to all those members of the public that are at the scene of such incidents, helping patients and increasing their chances of survival and recovery.’
n Hovertravel kindly agreed to take Gina from Southsea over to the island for free so David could thank his saviour in person.
The company runs services throughout the day from Southsea Beach to Ryde and the journey takes 10 minutes. Call 08434 87 88 87 to find out more.