Amy Nichole Banner gave life saving CPR to a victim of Cardiac arrest just days after going on a first aid course. In part two of the interview we look at what happened once the paramedics arrived on the scene.
TA: Incredible Scenes! What happened once the Paramedics arrived?
ANB: The paramedics arrived after what seemed like ages. Most of the team fell back to give them space to work. I stayed right by Richard’s side to continue to speak to him and tell him again that he had a strong heart and lungs. Whilst one paramedic put a breathing tube in I was able to recount the incident to the other. One paramedic then took over the rescue breaths, and I kept the compressions going. The other paramedic prepared a Defibrillator, which would hopefully re-start his heart. We all stood away while they shocked his heart a couple of times to get a normal rhythm. I continued the compressions until the paramedics were confident his heart was beating on its own.
Once Richard was stabilized he was loaded into the ambulance. There was no next of kin so I asked if I could ride with him to the hospital in the ambulance to continue to speak to him and explain where he was going. The school director followed in his car with the summer school secretary who was still trying to get a hold of his wife to let her know what was happening. I was glad that I knew Richard, and was able to provide the medics with his history and age. We knew he had given up playing the bag pipes some years back because of his heart, but other than that he was a fit and able dancer.
It was a very long and bumpy 20 minute ride in the Ambulance to Dundee. The same journey by car would usually take 45 minutes. Richard did start to wake a little in the ambulance. Once we got to the hospital I went to the waiting room, and after some time a doctor came out to speak me. I was very glad to be there, and described the string of events first hand. The doctor told us that there was a new technique to help cool the brain down, which would help avert brain damage. This gave us all hope, but we would have to wait until he awoke.
We eventually got in touch with his wife Marian through his neighbours. We told her what had happened, which was better than hearing it from the police. I was not feeling any shock, but rather concern and love for a friend and fellow human being.
Richard did wake up within 24 hours and was much better than predicted. He did have a bump on his head, but no apparent brain damage. He remembered the first day of summer school, but nothing more. The Lovely Marian kept us informed of his progress. Doctors told us that he had developed an irregular heartbeat on the evening of the dance.
All the dancers were concerned that he would never be able to dance again. However by the end of the week our worries were over, as we were told he would make a full recovery. From now on he would be fitted with a pacemaker, but this would in no way stop him from dancing. We were all convinced that dancing had given him a strong heart and lungs, and that is what saved his life. He was also surrounded by caring and abled bodied friends who were never prepared to give up on him.
Has the whole experience changed your thoughts on first aid in any way?
I now actively let others know how important First Aid training is. I did my training because of a work requirement, but ended up needing it when participating in my favourite pastime dancing. My experience proves that First aid saves lives. Do not hesitate if there is someone in need as you really can help. It may involve making the life saving call to 999, keeping the scene clear, and even motivating the first aiders. Everyone can have a job to do.
Do not hesitate in helping someone. It could be a stranger. It could be a friend. It could be someone you love. It could be you...
TA: We would like to say that Train Aid is immensely proud of you, and we feel that your story should be shared by as many people as possible.