Wed, 09 Oct 2019
A TADLEY woman who performed CPR on an elderly client has been recognised with a national award.
Mother-of-two Joanne Dow, 50, was named as a CPR Hero by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at an award ceremony at the Globe Theatre in London.
The event was attended by celebrities including Vernon Kay and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
Mrs Dow, a carer for the elderly, arrived at the home of a client for his morning visit.
Unusually, he was not already up, and Mrs Dow discovered that he had died in bed.
A 999 operator asked her to perform CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Although he did not recover, the man’s family were comforted that Mrs Dow had done all she could to help.
Mrs Dow, a Beavers leader, was nominated by her colleague Sally Regan, who said: “I think Jo is a hero as it must have been terribly hard to do CPR on the gentleman, believing that he had passed away.”
The BHF’s CPR Hero awards recognise the life-saving actions of people who step into help when someone is having a cardiac arrest.
Mrs Dow said: “I was really happy to receive an award and surprised to be nominated.
“CPR is very important to know, especially as a caregiver.
“If someone isn’t breathing it’s important to know what to do in that situation.
“Giving CPR was quite hard work, but adrenaline kicked in and I know that I did all I could.”
BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie said: “We are proud to give this award to Joanne. Her actions make her a true hero.
“It is also a powerful reminder of why CPR skills are so important.
“In the UK, the lives of thousands of people each year could be saved if more people were confident about what to do when someone is having a cardiac arrest.
“That’s why the BHF is striving to improve survival rates through CPR training programmes and working with governments and local authorities in all the UK nations to ensure CPR is routinely taught in schools.”
The BHF says that there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year and less than one in 10 people survive.
A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, often because of a problem with the electrical signals to the heart muscle.
Someone who is having a cardiac arrest will collapse and will also stop breathing.
For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest falls by around 10 per cent.
This year, the CPR Hero awards were sponsored by Laerdal Medical, a provider of training products for life-saving and emergency medical care.
The company’s vice president of resuscitation, Jon Laerdal, was on stage at the event to present the winners with their trophy.