Meadowhall security officer Andy Smith turned life saver recently when he helped a customer who had collapsed with a suspected heart attack at the busy shopping centre.
Thanks to Andy’s quick thinking and a recent first aid refresher, he was able to put his training into practice and literally saved the man’s life who had stopped breathing.
The drama began around 3.15pm on Wednesday July 8 as father-of-two Andy, 33, was just about to finish work. He was alerted by a shopper who had seen 57-year-old Trevor Hall collapse at the bottom of a flight of stairs near the Oasis Dining Quarter.
A small crowd had already started to gather so Andy and his security colleagues were able to cordon off the area using drapes as he started to help the just-conscious Trevor.
“When something like this happens, the adrenaline kicks in and everything just falls into place. Trevor was still conscious so I was able to get his name but his breathing was getting very shallow,” he said.
“I kept talking to him and we did a tannoy announcement for his wife, Susan, who was shopping in the centre. I kept talking to him and he then said to me – “Tell my wife I love her” – it is something I will never forget.”
As they waited for the ambulance to arrive, Andy was helped by a member of the public who also had some medical training. Andy had already fitted one of the Centre’s portable defibrillators to Trevor’s chest - which can help control heart beats using an electric current. It monitored his heart rate but then showed he had stopped breathing.
“The monitor showed his heart was still pumping but he had stopped breathing so I started CPR on him and kept doing this until the ambulance crew arrived. They told me later that I basically snapped his heart back into a more normal rhythm and if I hadn’t then he would have gone into full cardiac arrest.” explained Andy.
Trevor, who lives at Whiston, Rotherham, was rushed to the Northern General Hospital and has since made a full recovery. He has been back in to Meadowhall to meet Andy and his colleagues to thank them personally for their life-saving intervention.
Andy added: “I have seen Trevor a few times in the Centre since and every time it is just brilliant. I have worked at Meadowhall for almost 5 years and I look forward to going into work as every day is different. Knowing what I did that day helped save someone’s life is just priceless to me.”
Trevor, a retired wood machinist, said: “I have had two serious heart attacks in the past so I knew all the signs. I started to feel really hot and was getting dizzy. I went outside to get some fresh air and then tried to make my way back inside but just knew I was going to collapse.
“I don’t remember much about what happened, but I remember hearing voices talking to me. I tried to keep my eyes open but I was just really hard trying to stay awake. They told me later it was like my heart had got out of rhythm, it kept skipping a beat and my blood pressure had dropped dramatically – I really thought that this was it.
“I have been back to the Centre to say thank you to Andy and his colleagues but words aren’t enough are they, they were wonderful.”
Andy is a team leader within the Meadowhall security team which recently won a national Security Team of the Year Award for their professionalism and outstanding service to the Sheffield public – certainly no surprise looking at this latest evidence!