A café owner leapt into action to save a heart attack victim by using life-saving skills she had seen on a TV hospital drama Holby City.
Debbie Ross-Harwood, 56, who runs Debest in Huntingdon Bus Station, became a life-saver after one of her customer’s shouted that a man was having a heart attack at the station last Wednesday morning (July 15).
The soon-to-be grandmother from Priory Road, Huntingdon took control of the situation by telling people to put the man in the recovery position to make him more comfortable before she began chest compressions.
“I found him laid on the floor with his head resting on the bench and once we got him in the recovery position I just started chest compressions,” said Debbie.
“I just watch a lot television, it is on the adverts and I love to watch Holby City so you just pick it up.”
The man, aged 65, came round but slipped into unconsciousness moments later and Debbie began to fear the worst.
“I carried on with compressions and he came round again, as soon as the ambulance arrived I stopped but the paramedics said ‘no, don’t stop keep going’ so I just kept going,” said the café owner of five years.
In total Debbie revived the man four times. He was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust said that the act of performing CPR before paramedics arrived “certainly did help save the patient’s life”.
Mother-of-two Debbie was surprised when the man’s wife came into the bus station the next day to thank her for saving her husband.
“I don’t know the man but have seen him and his wife in the station many times before.
“She came in looking for me then she flung her arms round me and started to cry saying thank you and what I had done was amazing.”
The praise didn’t end there for Debbie as she was given a bunch of flowers from Huntingdon Town Centre Partnership and Huntingdon Business Against Crime. “I didn’t expect it, I was totally surprised when they came in with the flowers to say thank you.”
Debbie was also given flowers by her regular customers.
“I have only ever taken one first aid course about 30 years ago when I was a childminder but now I just learnt my skills off of Holby City.”
The man was later moved to Papworth Hospital where tests revealed he had suffered heart failure.
“I would really like to find out who the gentleman was to know that he is going okay,” added Debbie.