Emotional scenes as West Beckham grandmother meets her ‘life saver’

Sandra King, from West Beckham, pictured with community first responder Nathan Liberman.PHOTO: ANTON

Sandra King, from West Beckham, pictured with community first responder Nathan Liberman.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

He delivered the ultimate Christmas present - life.

And now hero medic Nathan Liberman has had an emotional reunion with the mother-of-two who he saved.

Mr Liberman, a community first responder, rushed to the West Beckham home of Sandra King when she had a heart attack during preparations for a festive lunch with her husband, children and grandchildren.

Husband Dave dialled 999. And as volunteer Mr Liberman travelled the short distance to the north Norfolk village, Mrs King's children, Katy and Alex, bought their mum valuable time by carrying out chest compressions.

Then the community first responder took over, delivering three shocks with a heart-starting defibrillator, bringing her back to life as the local paramedic arrived and the East Anglian Air Ambulance landed in the garden.


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The paramedic team from the East of England Ambulance Trust was able to stabilise Mrs King and she was whisked off to the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital to continue her recovery.

Since that day, December 27 2011, Mrs King has been desperate to meet and thank Mr Liberman.

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On Tuesday, they did just that - and today, the pair will meet again - to unveil a defibrillator in Sheringham town centre, with the hope that others like Mrs King will get a second chance at life.

Mrs King, 58, from Sheringham Road, said: 'I'm absolutely over the moon. I've wanted to thank him for so long. he is a volunteer - and a life saver.'

Mr Liberman said: 'It's really satisfying when everything we train for comes together and results in a life saved. Sandra is alive today because of a specific chain of survival events: firstly, her husband called 999 whilst her children administered hard and fast chest compressions; I was able to bring a defibrillator to her quickly to restart her heart and advanced medical support was swiftly on scene to back us all up.

'I know it won't be long before Sheringham's new public-access defibrillator is used in a similar way and another life may be saved. But this time the initial life-savers will be ordinary members of our community, people who know a bit about chest compressions and are willing to have a go.'

Mrs King and her husband, 66, had spent Christmas with daughter Katy Patel, 40, and her children Kalen, Shrae and Rowan, and their son Alex, 38, plus his sons Owen, Harvey and Ben.

Mrs King said: 'I am told that I walked into the lounge with a sandwich and a cup of tea. I sat down next to my daughter and son. I slumped back, made a groaning noise and went stiff.'

Katy then Alex performed CPR, with the help of an ambulance call handler who talked them through it while they waited for Mr Liberman to arrive.

Mrs King said: 'I think that they are all fantastic. From my family to the people on the end of the telephone, and the first responder, ambulance crew and cardiac team at the hospital.

'I cannot repay them for giving me my life.'

Eighteen months after the incident, a chance meeting between community first responders' coordinator David Draper and Michelle Eaglen, Sheringham manager of the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, secured a donation from the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation to pay for the new public access defibrillator.

Today it will be unveiled outside the British Heart Foundation charity shop on Church Street in the town.

The machine can be used safely and effectively, even without training, by anyone and is housed in a key code-secured box. It is unlocked by first calling the Ambulance Service on 999 or 112.

? Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the UK - 76,000 people die each year from it, yet with hard and fast chest compressions and prompt access to a defibrillator, up to 74pc could survive.

To learn how recognise and treat cardiac arrest to save a life, sign up for free training under the BHF Heartstart Scheme. Application forms are available in Sheringham's N&P Building Society branch and the nearby BHF Charity Shop. If you are interested in becoming a CFR in your local community, call 01954 712400 or visit the web site at: www.sheringham.respondersuk.org

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