Norma returns to Asda Wolstanton to thank the colleagues who saved her life

July 22, 2019

Checkout operator Norma Paulwell has said an emotional thank you to the Asda colleagues who went to her aid when she suffered a cardiac arrest, saying: "I owe you my life."

Norma, 57, who has worked at our Wolstanton for six years, was given CPR and had her heart shocked twice with the store's defibrillator by her colleague Ann Howell.

Norma – who can't remember anything of the incident – was later taken to Royal Stoke Hospital by ambulance where she had a pacemaker fitted.

She is now recovering at home but couldn't wait to go back to the store to see the colleagues who helped on the day and thank then personally.

She said: "I owe them my life. If it wasn't for them I would not be here today. I can't thank them enough.

"If it had happened anywhere other than work then it would have been different.

"Everyone has been so nice; they have been really good to me and keeping in touch."

Ann went to help Norma after colleague Dawn Hawkes found her slumped in the locker room and raised the alarm.

Ann said: "Norma was going blue and not breathing so I decided to use CPR. I didn't want to lose her. I'm not first aid trained but I thought I'd try. Instinct just kicked in."

Eddie O'Connor called 999 and a control room operator told Ann what to do.

Ann said: "After continuing with CPR I did manage to get a breath from her and then one of my colleagues Lana went for the defibrillator. I put the patches on her and had to shock her twice. The defibrillator tells you exactly what to do.

"I kept on doing CPR until the paramedics arrived. It was all over in about 15 minutes but it seemed like forever. I'm just so glad I managed to help her."

Other colleagues who helped on the day included Craig Watson and Isobel Prince.

The store's people manager Tracey Marsden said: "I am proud that down to the calm approach by the team and the outstanding teamwork Norma not only survived, but is making a good recovery and after surgery is hoping to return to the store.

"The team worked together to make sure that all roles were covered to ensure that Norma received CPR, that the defibrillator was used and that messages from the emergency centre were relayed and actioned.

"On the day the paramedics said that their actions had given Norma the best chance of survival as those minutes after her heart attack it was crucial the right actions were taken.

"Every single one of the team went way over and above their job description to save Norma and as a store it is a real comfort to know that we have such caring and professional colleagues."

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