Off-duty ambulance worker saves neighbour


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Off-duty ambulance worker saves neighbour

A 69-year-old man has paid tribute to an off-duty ambulance worker who saved his life using a defibrillator.

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Kenneth Lyon's wife, Jennifer, ran to fetch neighbour Erika Davies when he began having chest pains at their home at Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd.

Erika, an emergency technician, began doing chest compressions and Jennifer called 999 when he became unconscious.

Call handlers directed Jennifer to a nearby primary school to retrieve a free access defibrillator.

"Without these defibrillators, people would not survive," said Kenneth.

"I'm very lucky to have survived this cardiac arrest and it's all thanks to Erika."

Fewer than 5% of people survive a cardiac arrest outside hospital, but that figure rises to 70% if a defibrillator is used within three minutes, according to St John Ambulance Cymru.

Erika said she followed the defibrillator's instructions and delivered a single shock to Kenneth's chest before colleagues from the Welsh Ambulance Service and Wales Air Ambulance arrived.

The father-of-one was taken to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, where he had a stent inserted.

He is now recovering at home and plans to raise money for two more defibrillators for his community.

"I want to encourage as many people as possible to go on courses, learn how to give CPR and how to use defibs," he said.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is launching its annual Shoctober campaign this month to raise awareness of the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation.

Liz Wedley, head of service for the Emergency Medical Service in north Wales, said: "I am thrilled Erika was able to help the Lyon family and that Kenneth is now doing well."