Wednesday, April 2, 2014
A mystery cyclist in Sidmouth has been hailed a hero after saving the life of a complete stranger who collapsed in the street.
The unknown passer-by leapt off his bike to give an unconscious pensioner, who had suffered a suspected heart attack, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before emergency services arrived.
A spokesman for the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital said the 65-year-old casualty was being treated in its coronary care unit as the Herald went to press last Thursday.
Horrified onlookers described how they rushed to the aid of the stricken man after he collapsed outside the Radway Cinema on Saturday.
Police and ambulance crews were called to the scene at around 5.35pm.
Dom Boull, 16, who works at the cinema, said the gentleman who collapsed was well-known to his manager.
“She waved at him as he passed the window and he waved back - then he was on his back on the pavement,” he said.
“We both panicked and ran outside.”
Dom tried to comfort the seriously ill man but felt helpless as his condition deteriorated rapidly and he stopped breathing.
“I was so scared,” said Dom. “I was telling him everything was going to be OK, but I felt guilty that I couldn’t help him more. The whole experience was traumatising. It still replays in my head now.”
Dom noticed several people stop when they saw what was happening – and one passer-by on a bicycle snapped into action and started giving the casualty CPR.
“He was an inspiration,” said Dom. “We put him [the pensioner] in the recovery position and then the ambulance showed up.
“When the paramedics arrived the cyclist disappeared.”
The experience has made Dom keen to undergo first aid training.
An ambulance service spokesman said the patient was transferred to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
“For patients who are suffering a cardiac arrest where they are not conscious and not breathing, our staff will carry out advanced life support which includes defibrillation,” she added.