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Steve's emotional visit to thank the Asda Scunthorpe colleagues who saved his life

July 12, 2019 02:36pm
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Sixty-nine-year-old grandad Steve Downey made an emotional return to our Scunthorpe store to thank the colleagues who helped save his life when he had a cardiac arrest, saying "I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them".

Shopper Steve thanks Asda colleagues for saving his life

Security section leader Josh Campbell twice used the store's defibrillator to restart Steve's heart when he collapsed in the store. He was helped by an off-duty nurse and ambulance driver, while colleagues looked after Steve's distraught wife Christine. The air ambulance was called, but Steve was taken to hospital by road.

Steve – a grandfather of four who worked as a car park attendant at the store 13 years ago – has now made a good recovery and wanted to come in to see Josh as soon as he was well enough.

Steve and Christine were browsing through DVDs when he suddenly collapsed.

Twenty-nine-year-old Josh, who's been a first aider since he was 18, said: "I heard a bang and a bit of a commotion and heard someone shout for help."

Shopper Steve thanks Asda colleagues for saving his life
Steve and his wife Christine with Josh and store manager Rachael Grayson

He ran over and saw Steve collapsed on the floor and being helped by an off-duty nurse, who was giving CPR, and an ambulance driver.

Josh said: "Steve's breathing was ragged and his nose was turning blue so I had to use the defibrillator to shock him.

"It was so easy so to use - the defibrillator talks you through it. It won't let you shock until it's needed. There's a bit of a fear factor around using a defibrillator, but there shouldn't be.

"I'd watched the defibrillator being used before, but that was the first time I had been lead in the situation.

"Everyone was on their 'A' game that day. Everyone did their bit. We all stayed so calm and did not lose our heads. It was a fantastic team effort. I just had to stay focussed and stay in the zone.

"From the collapse to the air ambulance arriving was only about 10 minutes, but it seemed like the longest time in history to be honest with you.

"I had to shock him twice. He partially regained consciousness and I was trying to speak to him to keep him calm, but because of the oxygen deprivation he couldn't get his words out.

"I'm so chuffed to bits that he has made a full recovery. We received a lovely thank you card from Steve and it choked me up."

Shopper Steve thanks Asda colleagues for saving his life
Steve, Christine and Josh with, back from left, deputy store manager Brian, store manager Rachael, Vicky Wright and Josh Noone

Josh praised his colleagues Josh Noone and Vicky Wright and deputy store manager Brian Markham for looking after Christine while he used the defibrillator.

Although the air ambulance came, Steve was taken by road ambulance to Scunthorpe Hospital, before being transferred to Castle Hill Hospital in Hull.

Steve: "The team at Asda all did a marvellous job. I can't thank them enough. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here today. I just wanted to shake's Josh's hand and thank him. If it hadn't happened in the store it might have been a different story.

"I had a cardiac arrest, rather than a heart attack, which means that my heart actually stopped, so I wasn't getting any oxygen. Without using CPR and the defibrillator I wouldn't be alive.

"I was just out shopping. I had just gone into the store and that's all I can remember. The first thing I do remember is waking up in hospital.

Steve also suffered two broken ribs and a broken thumb when he fell. He is now recovering after having a stent fitted.

Shopper Steve thanks Asda colleagues for saving his life

His wife Christine said: "Everyone was brilliant. I really can't thank everyone enough for what they did that day. We had just gone into Asda like we normally do. We were in the DVD aisle and Steve had just put something the trolley and then he just fell flat on his face and I screamed out for help. It just came completely out of the blue. I didn't know what else to do."

Store manager Rachael Grayson said: "I was just amazed by the team spirit of our colleagues. Josh was so calm in what was a terrifying situation. A defibrillator is a scary piece of equipment, but Josh had the confidence to use it.

"You can have all the training possible, but there's nothing like a real-life situation. That's why we are so very proud of Josh and the team.

"The paramedics and the air ambulance said he was in the right place at the right time. If it had happened somewhere else it may have been different."

According to the British Heart Foundation, to help someone who is in cardiac arrest, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible. For every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce by up to 10 per cent.

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