"Life-saving" actions praised for helping heart attack victim who collapsed on stage

THE quick actions of a retired doctor and two women who came to the aid of a singer after she suffered a heart attack on stage have been praised for potentially saving her life.

Members of Hallow WI were halfway through their Calendar Girls-inspired song when one of the performers collapsed on stage at Hallow Parish Hall just after 8pm on Friday.

A nurse and first aider, who were also performing in the variety show, began first aid before a retired doctor, who lives in the village, arrived to carry out CPR.

The woman, who was in her 70s, was in a critical condition when she was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital by ambulance but her condition had improved and she was due to be moved to a cardiac unit today.

Hallow WI had been taking part in the two-night variety show Hello (again) Hallow at the village hall which featured a number of comedy songs and sketches.

The woman's daughter, who has asked for her mum's name to remain anonymous, said she was doing well and was due to be out of intensive care on Monday.

"We're enormously grateful to everyone in the hall because they were probably quite instrumental in saving her life."

WI member Rosemary Thom, who was on stage at the time the woman suffered a heart attack, said it was a terrifying moment for everyone.

"We were in the middle of our performance when she suddenly collapsed.

"It was terrifying because we were all concentrating on our song when we realised one of our members had fallen over.

"They closed the curtains and fortunately a doctor and nurse were on hand and were able to render medical assistance while the emergency services were called.

"But it was down to the swift action of the recently retired doctor and the other people involved.

"The two of them and the doctor were able to render quite possibly lifesaving treatment before she was taken to hospital."

At the request of the family, the show carried on.

"It was a shock and initially we wanted to stop there and go home.

"We decided to go back on again after the interval and do it for our friend and we said we would sing as loudly as we could for her."

Mrs Thom said the woman was in good health and went to two keep fit classes a week.

"She is a very fit and active person. She is a wonderful lady.

"There is a wonderful community in Hallow, it's terrific, and we had such fun despite this terrible incident.

"I bitterly regret not joining WI for many, many years. There is great camaraderie and such a good fellowship among the group and we see each other through the highs and lows of life."

Hallow WI president Freda Davies said she had sent a card on behalf of the organisation.

"The news [about the member] is very positive.

"They were all terribly traumatised by it so to go back on stage and carry on - they did a marvellous job. I can't praise them enough."

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it sent an ambulance and paramedic officer to reports of a cardiac arrest.

When the crews arrived, there were people carrying out CPR and crews managed to restart the woman's heart before she was taken to hospital.

British Heart Foundation recently ran a campaign fronted by former footballer Vinnie Jones to teach people how to administer hands-only CPR.

For more information log on to http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/life-saving-skills/hands-only-cpr.aspx#&panel1-1

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