Husband’s frantic five-minute bid to save dying wife on bedroom floor

David Green administered CPR for five minutes after his wife, Joy, collapsed at their home in Gaywoo

David Green administered CPR for five minutes after his wife, Joy, collapsed at their home in Gaywood, King's Lynn. Picture: NARS - Credit: Archant

A devoted husband spent a nerve-shredding five minutes trying to keep his wife alive after she collapsed on their bedroom floor in the middle of the night.

Carl Smith, NARS advanced paramedic. Picture: NARS

Carl Smith, NARS advanced paramedic. Picture: NARS - Credit: NARS

With a 999 call handler giving David Green instructions over the phone, he performed CPR on Joy at their home in Gaywood, King’s Lynn.

When an ambulance arrived, paramedics shocked Mrs Green six times in 35 minutes as they fought what looked like a losing battle to save her, with Mr Green looking on helplessly.

It was agreed to continue resuscitation for five more minutes and, extraordinarily, a pulse was soon detected and Mrs Green’s heart began beating again - 40 minutes after her initial arrest.

The couple were sleeping at their home on May 5 when Mrs Green suffered the cardiac arrest at 3.45am.

You may also want to watch:

Having seen his wife fall out of bed “in a heap”, Mr Green, a full-time carer for her, rushed to her aid.

He said: “I was round to Joy straight away but when I reached her I knew she was dead - something in my head told me. It was scary and I went into a bit of shock. My mouth and throat instantly went dry and I couldn’t get my words out when I called 999.”

Most Read

A call handler, who answered in one second, gave the 62-year-old instructions on how to perform CPR and Mr Green battled to save his wife’s life for four minutes and 25 seconds before the ambulance arrived, alongside paramedics from Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS).

After she was revied, Mrs Green was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn and eventually discharged three weeks later.

NARS volunteer Carl Smith, who arrived six minutes after the 999 call, said: “A vital factor in us continuing to give Joy advanced life support was that Dave had performed CPR when the ambulance was on its way.

“Members of the public are key in improving the chain of survival and, if you learn CPR, you could give someone you love the same second chance at life that Dave gave Joy.”

Mr Green added: “It was a really awful experience but Joy is doing fine now. She is walking and she can read and write too. One of the cardiac doctors said to me, ‘if you had not performed that CPR, Joy would not have made it.’”

NARS volunteers have been providing additional support to the ambulance service since 1970.

To donate visit

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter