Off-duty nurse saves rugby player's life
An off-duty nurse from Bath has saved the life of a rugby player who suffered a heart attack at a game on the edge of the city.
The intervention of cardiac nurse Yaneke Davey was one of a string of lucky breaks to which Barry Collins owes his life.
The father-of-two from Weston-super-Mare was playing as a prop for the Hornets rugby team in a match against Avon Rugby Club at Batheaston when he had a heart attack and collapsed.
The 47-year-old feels he is only here to tell his tale thanks to the actions of Mrs Davey, from Newbridge, who performed CPR on him.
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Mr Collins said: "I feel like the luckiest man in the world."
He said there was no doubt in his mind that Mrs Davey, who was helped by her friend Louise Skelton-Thompson, saved his life.
"Without them I wouldn't have stood a chance. When I saw them again I cried, I was just so emotional."
Mr Collins was playing at Hicks Field, in London Road, when he started to struggle to catch his breath, and came off the pitch to sit down.
A friend offered to drive him to hospital but before they had even left the car park, Mr Collins had a heart attack and stopped breathing.
By chance Mrs Davey, who works at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, had arrived to pick up her husband. She dragged Mr Collins out and started CPR on him, while onlookers called for an ambulance.
Another lucky break saw a paramedic, who had stopped at the Batheaston roundabout for a break, summoned, and between them they worked on Mr Collins until the ambulance arrived with a defibrillator. In that ambulance was a doctor who regularly worked with Mrs Davey.
After being rushed straight to the operating theatre to have a blood clot removed and a stent fitted he was put on a ward before being allowed home three days later.
He is now recovering at home but will not return to his job at a floor heating company until after Christmas.
Mr Collins said: "My doctor said it was a case of when not if, and I am so lucky that when it did I was next to a cardiac nurse with an emergency response paramedic just 200 yards away."
Mrs Davey wants to raise awareness of such first-aid techniques.
She said: "Barry is an incredibly lucky man. He only had a ten per cent change of surviving – but he did.
"It is important that people know how to do CPR, as they never know when they may have to use it.
"Having a defibrillator and people trained to use them significantly increases a person's chance, and we are hoping to raise enough money to install one at the club."