A husband-to-be who saved his fiancée’s life by giving her CPR when he woke up seconds after she went into cardiac arrest has been crowned St John Ambulance Everyday Hero of the Year.
Richard Tucker, 47, heard his partner Bridget making strange noises in the middle of the night despite being a deep sleeper.
After desperately trying to wake her he switched on the bedroom light and was shocked to find she had turned a strange colour and was not breathing.
Richard rushed through to Bridget’s daughter Anna in a panic and shouted to her to call 999 immediately before beginning CPR.
He did around 10-15 rounds of CPR before a Community First Responder arrived on the scene, who took over the resuscitation and then used a defibrillator to shock Bridget’s heart back into a rhythm.
With around six paramedics now on scene, they managed to establish a pulse and she was taken to a Brighton hospital in a critical condition.
He said: Even now I think it’s a miracle I woke up. I’m such a deep sleeper that it’s very rare for me to be woken by anything, but I’m so grateful on this occasion I did.
Richard, who is a dad of three, had received first aid training in the workplace just months earlier.
The dad-of-three was one of over 50 incredible finalists in the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards whose first aid stories show extraordinary courage and unwavering commitment to saving lives.
Bridget, who said that she didn’t notice any strange symptoms in the run-up to the cardiac arrest, remained in an induced coma for around four days.
Her family and friends were told it was touch and go whether she was going to survive and they were warned that if she did she may have other health issues, such as brain damage.
Thankfully, about 24 hours after the hospital team brought her out of the coma, she began to speak.
Richard told Mirror Online: At that point, because I’d heard her speak, it was just incredible – I was in tears.
Up until then we had been looking for any little positive that could turn this horrendous situation around, but we knew at every stage that it was still life-or-death.
So when I saw her speaking it was hard to believe we were at this point.
She’s just an incredible woman. If anyone was going to do it, she was.
She’s full of fight – more fight than most of us put together. I always had this belief she might pull through this.
Bridget had an internal cardioverter defibrillator fitted and three weeks later was discharged from hospital.
She has returned to work as a director of her family business Pureprint Group in Uckfield, and is feeling fit and healthy.
Despite numerous tests, the reason for the cardiac arrest remains unknown, with no health issues discovered.
Now, just one year later, the couple have got engaged and are planning their wedding.
Richard was amongst 11 winners at the St John Ambulance ceremony held last night and hosted by presenter and musician Myleene Klass, and supported by Laerdal Medical – creator of the world famous Resusci Anne.
HRH The Countess of Wessex was also in attendance, with a special affiliation to the charity as Grand President of the Order of St John – St John Ambulance’s parent organisation. The Countess spent time meeting the finalists and key supporters of the charity.
Other life savers and first aid champions who received awards included:
First Aid Champion: Lizzie Jones, the wife of a professional rugby player set up a campaign to supply defibrillators to local rugby clubs following her husband suffering a fatal cardiac arrest on the pitch.
Guy Evans Young Hero*: Bradley Knight, an Army Cadet who rushed to the scene of a road traffic accident, treated an injured motorcyclist and driver of a car suffering from shock.
Hero Parent: Victoria Dawson, mother to baby Eddie, saved her son’s life with CPR after he started to choke and stopped breathing while breastfeeding.
Sue Killen, CEO at the nation’s leading first aid charity, said:It’s right that we take the time to recognise these truly remarkable people on a national stage as their stories really show the difference first aid can make. They are an inspiration and should all be incredibly proud of their achievements. I’d urge everyone to download the St John Ambulance app, go to our website, or find us on social media – first aid is so easy to learn and it could help you save a life.
Myleene Klass said: I feel very privileged to host the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes awards – I know from personal experience how scary it is when you’re faced with a first aid emergency. My own daughter choked when she was just a baby, and I really believe because of the first aid training I’d had, I was able to save her life.?
First aid skills are so important and St John Ambulance has lots of free resources on their website to help you learn these life saving skills so please make the time to look, it could save a person’s life.
Steve Overton, Managing Director of Laerdal UK, said: “The Everyday Heroes winners are remarkable examples of why first aid training is a vital skill that should be learnt by everybody. Laerdal Medical is delighted to be supporting St John Ambulance to help shine a spotlight on these inspirational people to give them the recognition they deserve.
To learn lifesaving skills visit www.sja.org.uk
News Source MirrorNews