Gailes resident Kevin Halls says he’s lucky to be alive, after a council worker gave him life-saving CPR when his heart stopped twice.
Ipswich City Council Project Officer Thanh Wright was at an on-site meeting ahead of works in Waterford Street on 22 June when he spotted the 88-year-old lying on the floor of his front deck across the street.
“I could see two people with him trying to start some sort of CPR, but it didn’t look quite right, so I ran over to the front porch to tell them that I knew CPR,” Mr Wright said.
“They had already called an ambulance, but he wasn’t breathing or responsive so I started with 30 compressions.
“He then started to take breaths, so I immediately stopped the compressions and I held his hand and squeezed, and he squeezed back.”
But within less than a minute, Mr Hall had stopped breathing again, prompting Mr Wright to re-start compressions.
“During the second lot of compressions, I heard a small crack, which I knew was the sound of a rib breaking,” Mr Wright said.
“I knew from my CPR Training I’d done at council that it’s quite common to break a rib while giving CPR, especially to someone who’s elderly, so I kept going until he started to breathe and regain consciousness, which was around the time the ambulance arrived.”
Now back at home following a week in hospital, Mr Halls said he was grateful to Mr Wright for saving his life.
“It’s really good to be here,” Mr Halls said.
“It’s funny because prior to my heart stopping, it was just a normal day.
“You never know what’s coming, but that’s probably for the best,” he said with a laugh.
Having lived in Ipswich all his life, the former nurse at Wolston Park Hospital says he’s happy he’s been able to stay living in his own home, where he enjoys reading about gemstones and reminiscing about fossicking in his younger days.
He now also looks forward to visits from Mr Wright, who has dropped in several times in recent weeks to check up on him.
“He’s a good lad, I’m always happy to see him,” Mr Halls said.
“I’m also enjoying a grandstand view of the roadworks from here. It’s very impressive.”
Mr Wright rejects the idea that his efforts were heroic, saying he was simply there at the right time.
“I did what anyone with CPR training would do in the same circumstances,” he said.
“I’d recommend that more people do their First Aid and CPR Training if they have the opportunity, because you never know when you might need to use it.”