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North Yorkshire Police Officers and members of the public receive awards for life-saving action

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Inspector Jon Grainge, PC Michael Wilson, PC Lisa Jones, Matthew Van Loo and Lee Read receive Royal Humane Society Awards for emergency CPR which saved a man’s life

North Yorkshire Police Inspector Jon Grainge was off duty and travelling to visit family when he spotted Mr King collapsed and receiving CPR. Inspector Grainge explains: “I was driving to visit family in the village when I saw Mr King laid on a patch of grass with a group of people gathered round and a member of the public performing CPR. It turned out that this was Matthew Van Loo, an experienced cardiac nurse who had also been driving past. I quickly parked up and went over to help, continuing with CPR.

“Matthew and I both continued CPR and were soon joined by Constables Michael Wilson and Lisa Jones. A passing cyclist, Lee Read, was then able to travel the 500 metres or so to the nearest community defibrillator which we successfully used and by this time, the paramedics had arrived.”

Mr King was quickly transported by ambulance to James Cook Hospital where he made a full recovery. The hospital medical staff made it clear that if Mr King had not received the prompt treatment from those giving CPR, along with the use of the community defibrillator, then he would not have survived.

Mr King and his family expressed their sincere gratitude for the actions of the five individuals who helped to save his life. Mr King said: “There’s not much I can really say apart from a sincere thank you to everyone involved on the day. A lot of people wouldn’t have had the chance to say a personal thank you and it means a lot to be able to do that.

“Apparently I ended up with eight broken ribs from the CPR which is a good thing because it means it was strong enough to have the desired effect. I never thought I’d be saying thank you to anyone for breaking my ribs. It’s a miracle that I’m still here today.”

Today, the individuals involved have been presented with Royal Humane Society awards by North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, Lisa Winward. She said: “We are incredibly proud of the actions taken by our officers and members of the public which resulted in Mr King’s life being saved and would like to praise everyone involved.

“The fact that a defibrillator was available nearby goes to show how vital these resources are to local communities and how important it is to support fundraising for them in your area. I would encourage everyone to find out where your nearest defibrillator is located as you never know when this information might save someone’s life.”

Speaking about his award, Inspector Jon Grainge said: “I think I speak for all of us when I say we are honoured to receive the Royal Humane Society awards but that’s absolutely not why we do what we do. I feel very fortunate to have the first aid training which meant I was able to help in this situation and I am delighted to see Mr King fit and well today.”

Matthew Van Loo is a cardiac nurse and now teaches at Teesside University. He said: “This was absolutely a case of the right people being in the right place at the right time. The fact that Lee was able to quickly locate and collect the community defib made a huge difference as in a situation like this the chance of survival drops by 10 per cent every minute.

“We were delighted that following the events of 2 July Roseberry Academy dedicated a whole day to teaching and training all of its students in CPR. The school has undertaken a fundraising appeal to be able to purchase their own defibrillator and they are now continuing to fundraise for an outdoor box to keep it in. I’d urge everyone to support their efforts and indeed any others in your local area. You never know when you might be the person needing one.”

Andrew Chapman, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society praised the individuals. He said: “To say that Matthew Van Loo was the right person in the right place at the right time is an understatement.
“You can’t do better than to have an experienced cardiac nurse on hand if you have the misfortune to suffer a heart attack. But everyone involved in this played a major role in bringing Mr King back from the brink of death.

“He was taken to the James Cook Hospital where doctors said the full recovery he made later was ‘a miracle.’ Medical staff also made it clear that if he had not received the prompt treatment he did then he would not have survived. They all richly deserve the awards they are to receive.

“At the same time this is another case which emphasises the need for as many people as possible to learn how to administer CPR. I’m sure no-one who learns the procedure ever wants to be called on to use it, but as this incident shows, it can make the difference between life and death.”

Last modified: June 11, 2019