‘I’m no hero, I’m just glad I was there to help’ says brave Stevenage mum who helped save woman’s life

Brave Katie Kilroy outside her home

Brave Katie Kilroy outside her home - Credit: Archant

A mum-of-three who only learned life-saving CPR techniques three months ago leapt into action on Tuesday morning to help bring a woman back from the dead.

Katie Kilroy had just left her home in Ely Close, Stevenage, to head off for an appointment at the dentist when she was confronted by a medical emergency on her doorstep.

A woman in her 50s who had been on her way to the town’s Lister Hospital had collapsed and was not breathing – but Katie stepped in with her new-found skills and used CPR on the patient for more than 20 minutes while the woman’s distraught husband dialled 999 for expert help.

Katie, 40, only learned the lifesaving skills on a training course through her work having attended a training session through her job as an enablement support worker for Goldsborough Homecare in the town.

She told the Comet: “I’d casually stepped out of my house to go to the dentist when I saw a woman who’d collapsed.

“She was clearly not breathing. She had no pulse and no heartbeat.

“To all intents and purposes she was clinically dead. My CPR training just kicked in, and I performed it on her for about 20 minutes while her poor husband called the emergency services.

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“A few people gathered before ambulance crews arrived – I’m sure they thought she’d died, but I was determined to carry on to try and save her.

“The ambulance people arrived, using defibrillators on her to no avail to start with. On and off I must have done CPR on her for 20 minutes.

“Thankfully, by the time Herts Air Ambulance helicopter came she’d started breathing on her own again.

“Her husband was in shock.He said they’d set off for an appointment at Lister, when she told him she didn’t feel well, so they turned around and walked home – which was when she collapsed outside my house.

“He just kept saying: ‘Thank you very much’ – but I don’t see myself as a hero in any way.

“Anyone would’ve done the same thing in my position. I’m just glad I’d learnt CPR. I’d encourage everyone to learn it as it could help save a life.”

By the time the former Stevenage Tesco worker had finished helping the woman – who was then taken to the Lister Hospital by land ambulance – Katie was chilled to the bone.

She explained: “I don’t know whether I went into shock afterwards but I was freezing cold. When the woman was safely away I went back inside my house.

Daughter Imogen, 15, gave her a blanket and made her a cup of sweet tea before son Robbie, 14, who had slept through it all, woke up.

Katie said: “When Imogen told him what I’d done he couldn’t believe it.

“The only thing that matters is the woman is OK. I hope she will be. I’m not a hero in any way but I might have another tea – this time with something stronger in it!”

The woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but an update wasn’t available when going to press.

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