Lifesaving nurse’s joyful reunion with a stranger she saved
Off-duty hospital staff happened to be onboard Tube train and able to administer immediate CPR between stations when passenger collapsed with a heart attack
A nurse who helped save the life of a man who collapsed on a train from a heart attack has spoken about the moment that ‘felt like a lifetime’.
Philip Le Pere, 54, was on his way home on a London Tube train in January when he collapsed. But thankfully, off-duty staff from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital were nearby. Haemophilia research nurse Karen Torre and education and workforce lead Dee Yissau immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Mr Le Pere.
Another passenger talked to the train driver while an off-duty paramedic rang emergency services.
Gratitude for ‘second chance at life’
Mr Le Pere was taken to King’s College Hospital in London and discharged two weeks later. He thanked Ms Torre and her colleagues for his ‘second chance at life’ when they were reunited recently.
Recalling the events of the day, Ms Torre said: ‘Someone came running into my carriage shouting for help as a man wasn’t breathing well, so I went to see if I could help. When I got there, Philip was lying on the carriage floor, and my colleague Dee had already started CPR. I went over and started to help.’
The pair took turns to deliver CPR for more than 20 minutes as the train travelled to the next station.
Ms Torre and Ms Yissau, along with trust colleague Jenny Penn, helped to move Mr Le Pere from the train on to the platform at the station, continuing CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Ms Torre added: ‘I’ve never had to give CPR outside hospital, and it felt like a lifetime as the train continued moving to the next station. ‘When I heard Philip had survived and was making a full recovery, I was so overjoyed.’
Mr Le Pere said after being reunited with his lifesavers: ‘It was great to meet Jenny, Karen and Dee, and to fill in the gaps in my memory. I was so amazed to hear what happened. I’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who helped me on that train journey home. I’m so grateful I’ve been given a second chance at life.’
‘We’re exceptionally proud of our colleagues’
Guy’s and St Thomas’ chief nurse Avey Bhatia, said: ‘We’re all so exceptionally proud of our colleagues who helped to save Philip’s life, and it’s great to see them reunited. Our staff go above and beyond in helping people, and not just when they’re at work.’
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