SUSAN LATTY, a resident of Neath, was shopping for books in the town centre when she collapsed to the floor, dizzy and breathless. Luckily, St John Ambulance Cymru volunteers were a heartbeat away, supporting a food and drink festival in the area.
Susan had been experiencing problems with her blood pressure for weeks leading up to the incident, and had been blacking out and feeling dizzy. She said,“I collapsed onto the floor, surrounded by the staff and customers, who called the St John Ambulance Cymru volunteers. I was very sweaty, breathless and my heart rate was uneven.”
When volunteers arrived on scene, Susan claimed: “ they were so kind and saved my life.
“They stayed with me constantly, checking my ob’s and keeping me calm.”
Susan was grey in the face, with a very slow pulse. Volunteers Jack Evans and Adam Cousins assessed Susan and the situation was deemed time critical. She needed to be in hospital quickly. The team delivered appropriate treatment and called an ambulance.
Jack describes the event: “At that time, I knew that I had to do something otherwise this lady wasn’t going to make it.”
After hearing the wait for an ambulance would be three to four hours, Jack and Adam quickly took her to Morriston hospital. Adam explains the simple ways he made Susan feel better during this journey: “I remember being in the ambulance with her, trying to reassure and keep her calm while travelling. Susan wasn’t comfortable in the ambulance, but just talking to her seemed to help.”
He says that this simple step is often overlooked in an emergency situation.
Susan was later treated for a cardiac block and fitted with a pacemaker. She is now on the mend and is so thankful for the St John Ambulance Cymru volunteers, or as she describes them – her “guardian angels” .
Volunteers Adam, Jack, Leigh, Christina, Adrian and Simon all played a vital role in saving Susan’s life that day. She claimed: “I can never find enough words to say thank you.”
If you want to fund more of St John Ambulance Cymru’s lifesaving work around Wales, please make a donation today or visit www.sjacymru.org.uk to find out more.