Volunteer saves life after wasp sting reaction

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One of our community first responders saved the life of a man who had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a wasp sting.

Jess Hughes (37), from Rhayader, responded to the incident after receiving the emergency call and driving to the man’s address to help.

Having learned how to treat anaphylactic reactions just months before as part of her volunteer role, Jessica gave the man a lifesaving shot of adrenaline.

“Although the man looked calm and comfortable, he told us he found swallowing and breathing difficult, a sign his airway was starting to close. I knew I had to act fast so he had the best chance of surviving.”
Jess Hughes

With the nearest ambulance forty minutes away, Jessica and her colleague continued to monitor the man’s vital signs before the emergency services arrived at the scene.

“The patient had no previous history of allergic reactions and so it was really quite distressing for him.

As a first responder I carry everything I might need to help in an emergency, which after my recent training, now includes adrenaline. It really couldn’t have come at a better time!”
Jess Hughes

Jessica gave the man the shot of adrenaline, which is used to help people in allergic distress, and the swelling to his airway went down quickly. Soon, the man was breathing normally again.

“I stayed with him until the paramedics came and took over his care. I did everything I could and I’m so glad it resulted in a positive outcome.”
Jess Hughes

Our volunteers are trained to deal with emergency situations and are based in communities across Wales to help people when they need it most. Community first responders like Jessica are especially important in rural areas, like Rhayader, where it can take longer for specialist help to arrive.

The training Jessica received was one of the latest courses developed for volunteers at the charity.

“Jess’ quick-thinking and prompt action demonstrates just how important it can be act fast in a life-threatening situation.

Jess is the first of our volunteers to use adrenaline in this way and the training has already proven its worth. We’re so proud of what Jess has achieved and the actions she took to save a life.

Had Jess not had the skills and equipment she needed to respond; the outcome could have been very different.”
Philip Morris, St John Ambulance Cymru Head of Training


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