A midwife who studied at the University of Plymouth has helped to save a man’s life after he collapsed while doing his Christmas shopping.
Sheree Haydon came to the aid of John Elliott, from Topsham, after he collapsed just outside of Tavistock Pannier Market.
John had suddenly begun to feel unwell while out shopping with his wife, and sat down on a nearby bench. Sheree, now a midwife at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust after completing her studies in 2020, was enjoying some fresh air off-duty when John caught her eye. Sheree decided to approach him to see if he was okay and just as she did, he collapsed on the floor and his heart stopped completely.
Instinct took over and Sheree shouted for help, laying him in position and checking his vital signs. Thankfully Paolo Ledesma, a junior doctor who has just started working at Derriford Hospital in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and his girlfriend December Payne, a junior doctor at Torbay Hospital, also happened to be at the market that day and came running to help. December placed her coat under John’s head and together the three performed CPR, taking it in turns to administer chest compressions, while a passer-by fetched a defibrillator.
Then, just as they were about to shock him, John suddenly took an almighty gasp and came to, shortly before an ambulance arrived.
"It was such a shock – we’d attached the defibrillator pads and were just about to hit the button, when John suddenly started to breathe. I covered him with my coat and explained to him what had happened, and asked someone to fetch his terrified wife a coffee.”