First aid volunteer to receive award after neighbour’s collapse

Tuesday 23rd November 2021 11:54 am
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Joanne Rogers ()

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A Kilgetty woman is to receive a special award after saving her neighbour’s life last Christmas.

Joanne Rogers, who volunteers with St John Ambulance Cymru, will receive a Certificate of Commendation as part of the charity’s annual investiture service on Saturday.

Last December she feared the worst after hearing shouting from next door, where her neighbours Marlene, 66, and Graham, 51, live.

Joanne said:

“I asked my husband Chris to go round to check on them, and I never imagined he’d come back and say Marlene had collapsed.”

Joanne rushed to the house and saw Marlene wasn’t breathing. She knew she needed to act quickly and started to perform CPR, while Chris raced to get their nearest defibrillator from their local bus stop.

Graham said:

“It all happened so quickly - I was making myself a flask of tea to take with me to work and when I went back, I could see something was really wrong.

“I called for Jo because I knew she was trained in first aid and might be able to help.”

Within three minutes, Chris had arrived with the defibrillator which was used to give Marlene’s heart two lifesaving shocks.

Just minutes later, a nearby paramedic was on the scene and helped Joanne give Marlene a breathing tube, allowing her to begin breathing for herself.

An ambulance then arrived and took over Marlene’s care, rushing her to Withybush hospital before she was transferred to Morriston hospital to undergo emergency surgery to be fitted with a pacemaker.

“We’re so lucky Jo was at home that evening. She was so calm and reassuring. She knew exactly what to do.

“I really can’t imagine what would have happened if Jo hadn’t been there. We’d really have been lost without her,” said Graham.

Joanne was inspired to help others after it was suggested to her by the nurse looking after her father when he was ill, 15 years ago.

She joined St John Ambulance Cymru three years ago as a volunteer eventually leaving her job in hospitality to work as part of the charity’s frontline services, before joining the Welsh Ambulance Service.

She said:

“I feel so honoured to receive this award and be recognised alongside so many inspirational people at the charity.

“It means so much to me that I was able to help Marlene and take action that helped save her life.”

Joanne is set to receive her award next Saturday (November 27) in Abergavenny.

More about St John Ambulance Cymru and their lifesaving work including how you can learn first aid is available at: www.sjacymru.org.uk

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