Man thanks off-duty GWH staff for saving his life

Posted: December 17, 2019

Lorry driver resuscitated after cardiac arrest

Beth Port and lorry driverA man who was resuscitated at the side of a road in Swindon by two members of our staff is on the road to recovery.

Kevin Lothian, 49, a lorry driver from Edinburgh, was travelling along the A419 in October when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Beth Port, an anaesthesia associate at Great Western Hospital, was passing by on her way home after finishing work when she pulled over to help.

Recognising that Kevin was in cardiac arrest, she hauled him from the lorry driver's seat and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the roadside.

Claire Bagley, an off-duty staff nurse on Cherwell unit, also stopped to help - assisting with resuscitation and directing members of the public.

Despite being at the roadside of a busy 70mph road, and in torrential rain and darkness, Beth and Claire gave Kevin CPR for 25 minutes before the ambulance arrived.

Emergency teams then continued with resuscitation for a further half-an-hour before Kevin was stable enough to be transferred to a hospital in Bristol.

Just two months later, Kevin is on the road to recovery having been discharged home. Beth has since met Kevin and his family, as a thank you from them for saving his life.

Beth (pictured above meeting Kevin for the first time in hospital) said: "I have only resuscitated two people in my life. One was my son two years ago when he suffered a respiratory arrest at home when he had meningitis. The second was when I resuscitated Kevin.

"This was a very different situation, and the weather and location made it much harder. I make sure I stay up-to-date with my yearly resuscitation training at the hospital, so I knew in practice what to do. I knew straight away that something was very wrong, and started resuscitating Kevin whilst other cars were rushing past us.

"I am so glad that Claire was there to help and support me. She organised the people who were standing nearby and took over with resuscitation when I was getting tired. Despite having only met a few times and working in different departments, it was a blessing to know there was somebody else there who could help me.

"I went to visit Kevin in Bristol when he was recovering, and I met all his family. We video-called his daughter from the hospital, and she thanked me for saving her dad. I was so touched. I am so glad he is making a full recovery and I feel privileged to have got to meet such a nice person."

Recently, Kevin and his family celebrated his 49th birthday - one that, without Beth and Claire, he wouldn't have lived to see.

"It is absolutely amazing what they both did," Kevin said. "They literally saved my life.

"On the day, I felt completely fine, didn't feel unwell at all. But I don't remember anything now; I just remember waking up in hospital in Bristol.

"Without them, I wouldn't be here today. All I can say to Beth and Claire is thank you - thank you for what you did for me."

Whilst Kevin was on his way to hospital, his wife Marie was getting ready for a night shift in Scotland.

"I was just about to leave to drop my daughter off at my mum's, when the police arrived at my door," Marie said.

"They said Kevin was in a bad way, so I got the next flight to Bristol.

"Beth and Claire are absolute guardian angels. I do not have enough words to thank them for saving my husband's life.

"They didn't just save my husband, but they saved a son, brother and father too. We rely on him and I don't know how I would have coped if Beth hadn't stopped when she did.

"Most people would have just driven past. Beth had children to get home to but she still stopped to help.

"We are all so thankful and they will both hold a massive place in our hearts forever. Our 12 year old daughter has said that she doesn't want anything for Christmas, as she is just so happy to have her dad still with us."

Georgia Davey, resusciation manager at Great Western Hospital, put Beth and Claire up for the Trust's employee STAR of the Month award.

She said: "Kevin is neurologically and physically intact despite the length of time he was in cardiac arrest, which is an amazing testament to the quality of the CPR Beth and Claire were able to deliver to him in an incredibly challenging situation.

"They delivered exceptional care in an exceptional situation, working together effectively to maximise his chance of surviving and managing the unique challenges that arose due to the location and environment.

"They bought this man the time he needed to reach expert care and are a huge part of the reason he is still alive today. Beth and Claire are amazing ambassadors for the Trust and deserve recognition as such."

The pair were presented with the STAR of the Month accolade last week.

"I was absolutely blown away," said Claire. "Stopping to help was all part of my duty as a nurse. I couldn't have just driven past.

"I am fairly new to the Trust, and had only recently completed my induction when the accident happened in October. I am so glad I had just passed my resuscitation course, and I am so glad that the help we gave has meant Kevin is now home with his family."

Beth and Claire want to use this opportunity to encourage members of the public to get their basic life support (BLS) training.

"The public never know what they might come across, and BLS really can make a difference and save a life," said Beth. "Working in a hospital, we are already trained and get yearly refresh courses, but I want to appeal to the public to get trained too, so that they can always stop and help."

Find out more about basic life support and CPR training

Please see the British Heart Foundation website: Heartstart communities (www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/how-to-save-a-life/cpr-training-in-communities/heartstart-communities).

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