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Extreme revision for medical student who saves neighbour’s life

26 May 2015

A University of Manchester medical student helped to save a neighbour’s life after he had a cardiac arrest – just a couple of weeks before her CPR exam.

Jenny Grey
Jenny Grey

Jenny Grey, a first year student from Talygarn, south Wales, didn’t know CPR before she started her studies in September, but when returning home to her parents’ house with her sister on 2 May she saw a neighbour frantically knocking on doors trying to get some help for John who had collapsed at home.

Jenny has known John since she was three-years-old and with the help of another neighbour was able to keep him alive for twenty minutes until the ambulance and an anaesthetist who lived nearby arrived.

She said: “I was more frustrated than anything else as the instructions we were receiving were not to move him, but once I explained that I could help I was allowed to perform CPR.  The paramedics who arrived told me that this probably saved his life.”

Just a couple of weeks after the real life incident Jenny came back to Manchester for her exams – one of which in performing CPR. She’s also been to visit John in hospital and he is slowly recovering after receiving a triple heart bypass.

John’s wife, Karen said: “I can’t begin to thank Jenny enough for her swift actions in helping to save my husband’s life. Throughout it all she was extremely calm and totally in control and you would never have known that she had only just learnt CPR as part of her medical training. What a great neighbour to have!  When Jenny visited John at the hospital it was quite an emotional reunion for both of them.

Jenny added: “This occurred well before I’d expect to be in a similar situation as a student and it was quite upsetting, especially knowing John so well. 

“What I’d say to anyone who has these skills is that you should help in every way you can.  It’s harder to do nothing than try your best.

“I would encourage anyone at all of any age to get training in basic life support, it is easy to find courses anywhere in the country, and could make all the difference to someone’s life.”

Professor Tony Freemont, Head of the Manchester Medical School said: “Jennifer’s response to this situation shows the sorts of decisive and well executed actions that characterise Manchester medical students even in the early years of the course.

 “I’m pleased to hear John is doing well, and wish him a speedy and complete recovery.”

Notes for editors

Find out more about first aid and training providers on the NHS website.

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