A woman who came to the help her husband after he went into cardiac arrest is encouraging others to learn first aid, so they too know how to save a life.
Jane sprang into action after her partner, Michael, collapsed, giving him CPR and saving his life.
The incident happened at the Tŷ Dyffryn assisted living facility where the couple lived together in Ammanford.
“We’d spent the evening at a party but left early because Michael was feeling unwell. A friend and I helped him to bed, but the colour in his face suddenly became very red.
I realised he wasn’t breathing, and I knew I needed to act fast.”
Having learned first aid while working for the fire service, Jane quickly started CPR while the friend called for an ambulance.
“All my training came back to me in an instant. I didn’t hesitate for a second in doing all I could to keep Michael alive until help arrived.
I must have only been doing chest compressions for ten minutes or so, but it felt like a lifetime. I was so relieved to see the emergency services arrived and took over.”
Michael was stabilised before he was taken to hospital, where he later recovered.
“I hate to think of what would have happened had I not acted in the way I did.
Miraculously Michael was back to his usual self the next day, joking to the nurses that his ribs were aching, but they said that was just because I’d done such a good job!”
Jane is now calling on others to learn first aid so that they too could save a life in an emergency.
“I think first aid is something everyone should learn. It’s all about having the skills and being confident enough to use them.
I’m no hero. I was simply in the right place at the right time and had the knowledge to step in and help."
Over two thirds of people in Wales lack the confidence to help someone in cardiac arrest.* but if more people knew how to help, more lives could be saved.
“The worst thing you can do in a situation like mine is nothing.”
Jane went on to marry Michael a month later and in lieu of gifts, the couple asked for donations to equip their home at Tŷ Dyffryn with a defibrillator.
The device was installed soon after and continues to be accessible for all residents at the facility.
Michael passed away after a few months later after battling unrelated illnesses and Jane is sharing her story to encourage others to help give people more time with their loved ones.
“I’m so grateful for the extra time we had together. It may have been short, but those years were some of my favourites.
I hope my story shows people that earning first aid really can help in an emergency and it could give people more precious moment together.”
This September, we're running Save a Life September, a campaign encouraging people to equip themselves with lifesaving first aid skills they could one day use to save someone’s life.
We're delivering two-hour first aid awareness sessions for free, in communities across Wales and, for the first time, training sessions will also be available virtually.
Learn more about the campaign and how to book your place on a training session here.