Magor woman saves life on holiday


As St John Cymru marks its centenary and, with its ‘Save a Life September’ launched , we speak to a woman who attended a St John Cymru first aid session in Caldicot during our 2017 campaign. She used the skills she learned that day just weeks later to save a man who had collapsed at a theme park.

Rachel Norman 42, was enjoying a holiday in at Universal Studios, Florida with her husband and two teenage children when a man collapsed in front of them.

“We were on our way out of the park after a day in the park when we saw a young man on the floor.”

Rachel Norman

Rachel approached the crowd, which was gathering around the man, and checked the man’s airway which was “exceptionally laboured.” She also noticed the man’s colour was rapidly changing from pink to bluer in colour.

 “It looked as though someone was trying to perform chest compressions so I approached the group and asked if I could be of any assistance.

The man looked as though he was fitting. His family explained he had no previous history of epilepsy but due to his rapidly changing colour, I made the decision to put him in the recovery position.” 

After a while, the man began to regain his colour and while disorientated at first, he gradually became more responsive.

Rachel stayed with the man and his family until the emergency services arrived and took over his care.

11 months previously, Rachel had attended one of St John Cymru’s community courses.

“It was very quickly clear that the people who were present were unsure how best to help.

The training I received from St John Cymru without a doubt gave me the confidence to deal with that situation.

Knowing I did all I could to help the gentleman in that situation was really rewarding.

I can’t thank St John Cymru enough!” 

This September St John Cymru is looking to create 5,000 potential lifesavers. Each year, the nation’s leading first aid charity offers free 2-hour training sessions across Wales which teach people simple techniques which could one day help to save someone’s - life just like Rachel.

Sessions give people the knowledge and confidence to deal with an emergency situation and cover the following scenarios:

  • how to manage an incident
  • how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • treating an unresponsive casualty
  • what to do if someone is choking
  • how to treat severe bleeding

Just one in five people know what to do in an emergency* and over two thirds of people in Wales lack the confidence to help someone experiencing a cardiac arrest.**

St John Cymru is appealing to the Welsh public to help change these statistics and join them by becoming a potential lifesaver at one of its local first aid awareness sessions this September.

Spare just two hours and learn how to save a life. Register for free at your local training session at: or call 0345 678 5646.


Published September 5th 2018

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