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Life-saver Sarah says ‘learn CPR’
AN off-duty care worker who saved the life of an elderly man suffering a suspected heart attack in Southend High Street has called for more people to learn first aid.
The man’s step-son has called for care worker Sarah Burton to get a civic award after she used the life-saving technique for the first time in front of a crowd of onlookers outside H&M last Thursday.
Miss Burton, 28, of Cavendish Road, Basildon , said: “Everyone should learn CPR. There were a lot of people standing around not knowing what to do.”
The stepson, who asked not to be named, also praised a group of college students who put his stepfather, who is about 75, in the recovery position and called an ambulance, before the arrival of Miss Burton and former St John Ambulance volunteer Lydia Sookias, who helped clear people away.
He said: “The fact that people do something like that in this day and age is just amazing. I’m just stunned.
“Miss Burton is one of those rare genuine, caring people. I’m speechless to be honest.
“I’m very, very grateful and touched that people care like that for a stranger.”
Miss Burton, who for six years has worked with adults with learning disabilities, for Estuary Housing, in Basildon, was on a lunch break from training when she saw the man collapse.
More than 30 passers by looked on as Miss Burton used her skills for the first time.
She said: “I went into automatic pilot, but afterwards I was shaking. I was in shock.”
Paramedics arrived shortly after 1pm and took the man to Southend Hospital .
The incident came in the wake of a national campaign launched by St John Ambulance. Hard-hitting TV ads highlight how 150,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have possibly saved their lives.
Southend St John Ambulance recently held demonstrations of life-saving techniques at its headquarters in Queens Road.
Unit leader Kelly Grenfell said: “It’s quite shocking how many people don’t know these skills.
“The first few minutes are crucial, so if people know some skills it can give people a chance.”