Quick-thinking Ali from Asda Clevedon comes to the rescue of diabetic customer

June 10, 2021

"I can't thank Ali enough for what she did that day. She's an amazing woman; a diamond."

That's what diabetic customer Wes Skidmore says about our quick-thinking colleague Ali Szafarz who came to the rescue when he had a severe hypoglycemia attack in our Clevedon store.

Paramedics have praised Ali for her actions, saying that if she hadn't given Wes full-sugar cola to get some glucose back into his system he could have stopped breathing before they got there.

Father-of-four Wes, who's 43 and works at Britannic Windows near the store, has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 18.

He said: "I felt my sugars we going low so I decided to nip to Asda to get some Coke and something to eat. I went to the self checkouts, but I didn't really know what I was doing. I was pretty confused. I'd never been as low as that before. I just couldn't get the Coke in me in time.

"I remember someone getting me a seat and making sure I drank the Coke, which I know now was Ali. She really knew what she was doing. The next thing I remember was waking up with paramedics around me - I can't remember anything else."

Ali, who's 57 and has worked at the store for nine years, says Wes was at a till looking "dazed and confused" and trying to buy some Coke.

She said: "He kept saying he was having a hypo and didn't know what to do. A hypo is where you have very low levels of blood sugar which can be life threatening.

"My mum was diabetic so I know a bit about it. I managed to get him into a wheelchair and got some Coke down him as he was drifting in and out of consciousness.

"My colleague Kate, who's the assistant manager, phoned 999 and spoke to the ambulance team while I held his hand and tried to calm him down. It was very scary at the time as he was in a very bad way.

"When the paramedics arrived they gave him glucose and he came round quite quickly. It was such a relief. They did say the Coke I gave him had kept him going until they arrived, so I'm just glad I persevered with it."

Wes has recovered from his ordeal and called into the store to personally thank Ali and the team.

Ali has been nominated for an Asda customer service award by store manager David Hutt.

She said: "I was a bit overwhelmed to have been nominated, but it was a team effort really.

"I just wanted to help and do the right thing as I really care for my customers. We are a small, friendly store here and everyone looks out for one another."

David said: "Ali definitely went the extra mile that morning and, as a store, we are so proud of her.

"Ali came to assist the customer and she knew exactly what to do immediately. When the paramedics arrived they stated that if Ali had not had acted as fast as she did then the customer would have stopped breathing. They could not thank Ali enough for her quick thinking and bravery that day."

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