Pontyclun man appeals for more people to learn first aid after saving colleague's life

Quick-thinking Luke Ghanizadeh from Pontyclun saved the life of his colleague, Sarah Lee, when she started choking at work.

Without hesitation, Luke, who saw Sarah looking panicked and distressed, ran over to help.

With just seconds to react, Luke, who is a first-aider at Bolloré Logistics, recalled his first aid training - which instructs people to ask the person if they’re choking before reacting.  

When Sarah couldn’t speak, Luke knew she didn’t have much time.

 “I tilted Sarah’s head forward slightly and began back blows.

It became clear it wasn’t working and something more drastic was needed, so I shouted for help and for someone to call 999.”

Luke Ghanizadeh

Sarah desperately tried to drink some water in the hope of moving the obstruction, but it didn’t work.

“I knew then Sarah needed more help and so I began giving her abdominal thrusts.

My adrenaline was racing.

After the first thrust, something took over me and I felt like something had clicked into place. It’s hard to describe but I had confidence in the process working.” 

With encouragement from his site manager, Luke continued giving abdominal thrusts where Sarah made a ‘heaving-type sound’ before finally taking a huge gulp of air.

“The feeling of relief was overwhelming.” 

Sarah, whilst shaken by the incident, went on to make a full recovery.

Luke attended one of our first aid training courses a year before the incident and recalled how the situation could have been worse if he didn’t know how to step in.

“I’m not normally known for being calm and collected and so we were all a bit surprised when I was able to step in and help Sarah.

It really brought home to me how circumstances could have been so very different.

I’d advise anyone who goes onto first aid training to make the most of it, it really can mean the difference between life and death.”

“We’re delighted that Luke’s actions have had such a positive outcome for Sarah.

You never know when you may be in a situation where first aid could help. This story reinforces how important it is that people learn these vital life-saving skills.” 

St John Ambulance Cymru Director of Training, Jon Phillips

Bolloré Logistics is one of the 10 leading worldwide groups in transport organisation and logistics and satisfies the demands of importers and exporters, be they large groups requiring complex supply-chain management solutions, or small- and medium-sized companies requiring assistance with their international consignments. 

We're Wales’ leading first aid charity and our mission is for people to receive first aid, anytime, anywhere.

Our first aid training is available to businesses and communities in Wales. For more information or to book your place on a course, click here.

Published August 17th 2020

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