Welsh Ambulance manager turns life-saver as diner becomes seriously ill at country pub

2nd January 2019

Natalie Jenkins A manager who helps run emergency ambulances and crews across South Wales turned life-saver herself when a diner at a country pub suffered a suspected heart attack.

Natalie Jenkins, Duty Control Manager for Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, was enjoying an evening meal out with family when a woman at a nearby table was taken seriously ill.

38-year-old Natalie carried out life-saving CPR and managed the situation including frightened children until paramedics arrived and the patient could be taken to hospital, where she made a good recovery.

Natalie, who lives in Treowen, Newbridge, went to the Hungry Horse in Bleadon, Somerset. She moved to the next table where she noticed the woman looking poorly and went over to offer help and to get a glass of water.

She said: “I could see that she was grey in colour. She was sweating and looked rather unwell. I managed to get all the children away from the scene said and due to her looking clammy I suggested that she would like to her remove her jumper. So we took her jumper off and then as she sat up, she just lost complete consciousness.”

Natalie had received CPR training as part of her work at Welsh Ambulance’s control centre in Cwmbran, and immediately began life-saving chest compressions.

“The adrenaline was running and I literally just carried on with what I was doing,” she said. “I just took control and gave everyone instructions and told someone to ring 999. I checked with the staff whether they had any form of defibrillator.

“I’m glad that I’ve done my first aid training because it’s quite nice to know that I’d actually helped somebody and saved somebody. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Natalie called on more people to learn CPR if they got the opportunity and not to be frightened of carrying it out and hurting someone, should they need help.

She said: “I understand why people don’t want to give mouth-to-mouth to someone you don’t know, but at the time you really don’t give it a second’s thought. And if somebody accidentally broke my rib but saved my life, I wouldn’t mind that happening as a side-effect!

“My family are proud of me and I suppose I’m proud of myself, too. I must say, though, that I did need a large glass of gin afterwards!”

St John’s Ambulance provides advice on giving CPR and emergency first aid, as well as using defibrillators (AEDs). For more information visit their website here.