“I am super grateful to Sandra and Elaine – they saved my life!” These are the words of 73-year-old George Chastell, a regular customer at our Newmains store, who lost consciousness and began to turn blue after collapsing and banging his head.
He was shopping alone in the store when he suddenly felt unwell and fell to the floor. First aider Sandra Moroney and Elaine Doherty immediately sprang into action, putting their skills and training into practice.
George suffered a bad cut to the back of his head following his fall, so Sandra dressed the wound and kept him under close observation while Elaine rang the paramedics. George was unconscious, had suffered a seizure, and started to turn blue.
Sandra acted quickly to clear George’s airways but thankfully he started to come around, much to everyone's relief. Elaine was on the phone to George’s wife Tonya throughout the incident and helped to keep her calm.
George spent eight weeks in hospital and had to have a cardiac defibrillator fitted, but he is making a good recovery and he and Tonya popped into the store to thank the colleagues for their help.
He said: “I am so glad that they were there to look after me and talk to Tonya – it meant a lot to me that they were able to let her know how I was doing as she would have been so worried. Thanks to both of them for going above and beyond to make sure I was okay.”
Tonya added: "I am extremely grateful for the help Sandra and Elaine gave George. I could hear them talking to him in the background and I knew that they were taking good care of him.”
Sandra and Elaine have now been nominated for Asda service superstar awards for their actions.
Elaine said she was just so thankful they could help and that George was recovering.
She said: "I was there when George collapsed, I thought it was some kind of seizure but when I got over to him I realised it was a lot more serious than that.”
“We just did what we could to help George, thankfully we were able to put our skills into practice and keep him conscious until the paramedics arrived. I’m just so grateful that it all turned out well in the end and that George is making a good recovery, it could have been much worse.”
Sandra said: “It was scary, but the adrenaline just kicked in and I knew it was what I have been trained to do. I just thought we have to help this person; at the end of the day it could have been my dad or grandfather and I hope anyone else would do the same thing.”
“I am more accustomed to asthma and diabetic episodes as my daughter is diabetic and we are both asthmatic. I am very proud of how we handled the situation and it’s great to be trained for these types of situations as it could happen to anyone. I am so relieved we were able to help and that he’s making a good recovery, and I am proud of the ongoing support George and Tonya has received from our team at Asda Newmains.”
Barry Nicholson, the store's food hall trading manager, said everyone was inspired by of their actions.
He said: “I don’t think you can put into words how proud we are of the two of them. I was not surprised to hear how they had stepped in to help. Sandra and Elaine always give 100% to their colleagues and customers and this is just in their nature to go above and beyond. Thank you, Sandra and Elaine!”