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Quick-thinking colleagues at Asda Lancing help save customer with severe asthma attack

September 01, 2023 08:13 AM

Quick-thinking colleagues at our Lancing store came to the rescue when a customer stopped breathing after suffering a severe asthma attack.

Josie Ogbeide raised the alarm when she noticed the gentleman, aged in his 70s, was becoming increasingly short of breath and shaking.

He just wanted to get into his car and go home, but when Josie saw that his condition was worsening she insisted that he didn't leave.

Checkouts colleague Josie, who's 40 and has worked at the store for 19 years, said: "I was at the self checkouts and the man was chatting to me while putting his shopping through. It was very busy that day and the next thing I knew he was walking past me and whispering 'help me' before he left store without his shopping.

"I followed him out and saw that he was shivering and shaking and did not look right at all, but he got into his car – I think he just wanted to go home. I stood in front of his car and said 'no, no, no' to him. He wasn't going anywhere in that state."

His condition was getting more serious by the second so an ambulance was called and colleagues Tania Anderson, Ryan Seaman and Matt Lane helped him out of his car and lay him down on a blanket.

The gentleman had now stopped breathing, but thankfully a lady from a nearby business, who'd had some paramedic training, had seen the commotion, run over and started to carry out chest compressions on the customer.

Josie said: "She was brilliant. She kept doing CPR until the ambulance crew arrived, which was only a few minutes, and they took over and managed to revive him.

"I was crying and praying. I didn't want to lose him. It was such a relief when he started to breathe again. I was jumping for joy.

"I was just so happy that I was able to help. I just did what had to be done. The gentleman was asthmatic, but didn't have a full inhaler with him."

The man thankfully made a recovery and his family came into the store a couple of days after the incident to thank everyone involved.

Store manager Stephen Cracknell praised the team for their calmness and professionalism.

He said: "The paramedic at the scene complimented the intervention of the colleagues and the member of the public who rushed to his aid and specifically praised the quick- thinking of Josie who noticed his plight initially and might well have saved his life. She knew there was something not right and she acted on it and raised the alarm.

"Josie has a heart of gold and she always has people's best interests at heart. We are so proud of her and the team."