More people could be saved with first aid

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A Stanley villager who collapsed and stopped breathing whilst enjoying a night out has been reunited with the duo who saved her life.

Rona Ames, 59, had been at the beer festival at The White Hart Pub in Stanley when she suddenly started to feel unwell. A few minutes later she went to the toilets, collapsed, and stopped breathing.

Another pub-goer raised the alarm and landlady Simona Cameron dashed to see what had happened.

Simona started to deliver chest compressions and rescue breaths (CPR) and shouted to see if there was a first aider who could help.

Sue Adams, 52, of Ilkeston, joined Simona and together they battled to help Rona.

The pair took it in turns to deliver CPR for several minutes but there was no response. But then suddenly Rona took a massive gasp of breath. They put her into the recovery position but then she started having a seizure.

When the East Midlands Ambulance Service crew arrived they took over and Rona was taken to hospital.

Almost one year later the trio have got back together to share their story – and hope that other people will learn first aid so that they too can be equipped with the skills to help save lives.

Rona said: “Words can’t express how I feel about what they did for me. Without them I wouldn’t be here today. I will be eternally grateful to them – they are like my angels.”

Sue had taken part in a first aid refresher course with St John Ambulance just a few months before. And Simona worked for the Hilton Group in Romania for 12 years and received first aid training there.

Simona said: “It seemed like forever but when she gasped for breath the relief was unbelievable. Our first aid training instinctively kicked in, but when it’s someone you know well it makes it much harder. Sue and I didn’t really know each other at that point but we just worked together.

“We knew that we had to do whatever we could to save Rona.

Sue said: “When she took the gasp of breath it was an amazing feeling, and even when she was having the seizure I took some comfort from knowing that at least she was breathing. I felt very proud that I had been able to help save a life.”