'Paramedics told us if we hadn't performed CPR she wouldn't have lived' – Life-saving Stevenage Mecca Bingo staff reunited with 78-year-old woman after cardiac arrest drama
PUBLISHED: 12:02 03 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:53 03 November 2016
Two quick-thinking first-aid trained staff at Mecca Bingo in Stevenage have been handed prestigious awards for their bravery and reunited with the woman whose life they saved by giving her CPR.
Maureen Gleghorn, 78, returned to her Stevenage home from a five-week stint in hospital last week after being fitted with an internal defibrillator and two arterial stents. Her husband of 56 years, George Gleghorn, 77, had lovingly prepared her a plate of oven chips – food she had been unable to eat for weeks.
Mecca Bingo staff Leanne Nancarrow, 34, and Katie Jones, 23, went straight to mother-of-two Maureen’s aid after she suddenly passed out, just as she was about to begin a game of bingo.
The bingo calling was still going on as Katie and Leanne used their first aid training to deliver breaths and chest compressions, as they had been taught on a company training course.
Reunited with the girls who saved her life, Maureen said: “I couldn’t put into words how I feel. No win at the bingo would compensate for that.”
Leanne had been doing a routine stock take and Katie was at the front desk when a call was put out for first-aiders.
Leanne got to Maureen within 30 seconds, and at first she thought she was suffering an epileptic fit. Katie said: “Our first thought was to get her away from things because she was fitting, but it took us about a minute to realise she had suffered a cardiac arrest.”
The girls have since been given the Alan Morgan award by Mecca Bingo’s MD of the same name.
Katie phoned an ambulance and the pair started CPR as they were guided by the operator.
They continued the life-saving procedure until paramedics arrived 15 minute later.
The ambulance crews used defibrillators to re-start Maureen’s heart and stabilised her for 45 minutes before she was rushed to the town’s Lister Hospital.
Katie added: “I was thinking ‘is this really happening?’
“It’s strange when you speak to someone regularly at the bingo and you never think you will be in that kind of situation with them.
“You think you might have to put a plaster on someone’s finger and don’t imagine anything like this, but in that moment the training came straight back to me.
“The paramedics told us if we hadn’t been there she wouldn’t have lived.”
The girls have vowed to continue their first aid training and Maureen is looking forward to settling in back home with her husband and Lurcher dog, Flo.
She says she will be back enjoying the bingo as soon as she is able.