24th Oct, 2016

Pershore pensioner reunited with first aiders who saved her life

Rob George 25th Sep, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A PENSIONER has been reunited with two quick-thinking Vale first aiders who saved her life at the Pershore Jazz Festival.

When Maggie Eley was taken ill at the 2015 event, she was looked after by local St John Ambulance volunteers Adam Hoskins and Tomas Davies.

The pair found the 78-year-old had a serious heart problem that needed immediate treatment at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

She needed life-saving surgery and one year on, the music love returned to the festival to say thank you to the men who saved her life.

Maggie, who lives in Modbury, south Devon has been to the festival for the last nine years – travelling to the Midlands with Bob in the camper van they bought on retirement from the soft furnishings business they ran together.

“We are forever grateful for the assistance of the lovely people from St John Ambulance and we’ll continue to support the charity with further donations,” said Maggie.

“I’ve been telling all my friends how lucky I was that the charity’s volunteers were on hand to take care of me that night.

“I’d felt faint in the past and always thought I just needed some fresh air – I had no idea there was anything wrong with me.

“Thanks to St John Ambulance’s volunteers I have a new lease of life and hope to enjoy many more visits to Pershore, which my husband and I think is the best jazz festival around,” she added.

Adam and Tomas revealed they were initially called to a report of a fall.

When they reached Maggie, she said she wanted to go home, but the first aiders convinced her to have some tests to check her condition further.

“Maggie had passed out three times at the event, and had several episodes prior to the festival, but hadn’t seen a healthcare professional. It was our intervention that made the difference,” said Adam.

“She was a patient where we had to pull out all the stops to convince her to have treatment, because she didn’t want any fuss.”

Using their cardiac monitor, they discovered her heart had an irregular rhythm and needed urgent treatment.

“It always seems funny to say, ‘We saved a life’, We’re part of a team, but we genuinely helped Maggie that day,” said Adam.

“The consequences could have been disastrous if we hadn’t persuaded her to seek further medical help.

“We generally don’t see people again once we’ve treated them, but it was great to see Maggie – especially as she’s looking so well,” he added.

The pair said they had a received a cheque for the charity from Maggie’s husband Bob with a thank you note and said Maggie’s visit was ‘humbling’.

For more information on St John Ambulance’s work, including how to become a volunteer and details of training for the public, schools and businesses, visit www.sja.org.uk or call 08700 10 49 50.