Quick thinking actions of first aiders help to save a life
I owe my life to my co-workers John and Paul, who worked together to treat me before the paramedics arrived. There's no doubt that if they hadn't done what they did, it would have been all over for me. John's role in the situation was paramount; he rode in the ambulance with me, keeping pressure on the wound all the way to hospital.
Scars on bricklayer Francis Sultana’s neck and chest are a visible reminder of how lucky he is to be alive.
The 70 year old was using an angle grinder at a building site in Carlisle in February last year when suddenly the 23cm disc kicked back and sliced him in his neck.
His fast thinking co-workers, including John Healy, immediately applied first aid, using rags and a tee-shirt to apply direct pressure to stem the bleeding, and took directions from the State Operations Centre communications officer until the paramedics arrived.
The paramedics treated him and he was then taken Priority One to Royal Perth Hospital. To make matters worse, while en route to hospital, Francis suffered cardiac arrest. When he arrived at the emergency department, doctors were ready to provide life saving surgery and get his heart pumping again.
Francis is at home again and after two operations is now receiving physiotherapy to deal with damaged nerves in his right arm resulting from the wound.
His gratitude to his rescuers is palpable.
"As for paramedics Derek Waller and Jane Mathers, I can’t thank them enough for their excellent treatment, and how fast they got me to the hospital made all the difference.
In the end I was very, very lucky and I am so grateful to everyone who helped save my life.
I really believe that everyone should take a first aid course because the skills you learn might one day help to save a life."