‘As soon as I stopped, he stopped breathing’: Lifesaver ‘angel’ Andrea Applegate describes desperate battle to save man’s life in Bradwell
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A mystery woman who saved the life of a total stranger has told how she performed CPR for an arm-straining ten minutes until paramedics took over.
Taxi driver Andrea Applegate came forward following a social media appeal to trace the lifesaving 'angel' who brought a man back from the dead in a pub car park in Bradwell.
But the 54-year-old said she was reluctant to accept any special praise and uncertain as to why her actions had attracted so much applause.
Mrs Applegate said she was driving home along Beccles Road on Saturday afternoon when she saw a commotion outside the Arches pub.
Having pulled over she saw immediately a man on the floor who wasn't breathing.
People nearby, she said, were crying and desperately calling the emergency services.
She said: 'I could see the colour of him and just thought 'oh dear.' He had a nasty head wound and he was grey.
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'I whipped him on his back and got started on CPR.
'When he took a gasp of air I thought he was Ok but as soon as I stopped, he stopped breathing.
'My arms and my chest were so sore but I had to keep going for a good ten minutes.'
Seeing her struggling motorist Mark Wyton of El Alamein Way, Bradwell, took over until the ambulance arrived six minutes after they were called.
His wife Tina said the 45-year-old had not long completed a first aid course with GYB Services so it was 'fresh in his mind.'
She said her husband was 'shocked and shaken up' but desperate to know if the casualty was ok.
Following the incident one eyewitness hailed Mrs Applegate's quick and decisive response adding: 'To witness something like that when you hear so much negative news was wonderful. She appeared like an angel.'
Since the incident Mrs Applegate has received flowers from the man's family and he is understood to be making a recovery.
As a special needs driver for Swift Taxis and a former hospital worker she had had some first aid training, she said.
But it was the instruction from her radiographer son Sam Applegate given around a year ago that she summoned on Saturday.
By simply knowing how and where to compress the chest she had kept the man breathing, she said, adding that it was something anyone could do.
An East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) spokesperson said: 'When a person is in cardiac arrest (unconscious and not breathing) it is important to remember to dial 999 immediately. Following that their chances of survival are significantly increased if someone is able to provide cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as quickly as possible.'