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Great-grandfather reunited with first responder who helped save his life

Great-grandfather reunited with first responder who helped save his life

Lucy Elder

Great-grandfather reunited with first responder who helped save his life

Beaming Bernard Foyster has good reason to smile - he is shaking the hand of the man who gave him life-saving first aid when his heart stopped beating on a Windsor street.

The 84-year-old great-grandfather-of-one suffered a cardiac arrest in Peascod Street last summer.

The man who rushed to his aid is Martin Shea, who volunteers as a South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) community first responder.

Martin arrived to find Windsor Central PCSO David Bullock already on the scene, and someone already performing CPR.

The West Mead resident, who also gives first aid training to Street Angels, used his defibrillator to try to restart Bernard's heart before a response vehicle sent by SCAS arrived.

"It was only fairly recently when I was talking to David he said 'I saw the chap you resuscitated in the summer'," said Martin, who was reunited with the man he saved for the first time earlier this month.

"It was absolutely brilliant. It is definitely one of the things that makes all these first responding jobs worthwhile."

According to statistics on the British Heart Foundation website, for every minute after a cardiac arrest without CPR or defibrillation a person's chances of survival drop by 10 percent.

The former army medic said the response vehicle brought a defibrillator with 'a little bit more oomph' which was used on Bernard before an ambulance then arrived to take him to hospital.

Martin, who has been a community first responder for seven years, said by the time he arrived there in the car Bernard was awake and talking.

Bernard, a Windsor resident of 51 years, recovered and is back at home with his wife Ilse(ok).

The former journalist, whose 50-year career included 35 years at the Daily Telegraph, said he is fine now.

"Immediately as I fell down outside Morrisons a man and a young lady ran across to me," he said, adding the lady worked at Heathrow and the man was a doctor.

"How lucky was that?"

SCAS community first responders are all volunteers and come from all walks of life.

Visit www.southcentralambulance.nhs.uk or call 0800 5870207 for more information.

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