An heroic high street rescuer who brought a collapsed man back from the dead with a heart defibrillator has called for more awareness about the life-saving equipment.
Liam Wilkinson, 25, was using one of the machines for the very first time when he sprung into action in Chorley town centre.
Brian Miller, 80, of Chorley, suddenly dropped to the floor gasping for breath right in front of him on New Market Street. He began to turn blue and his heart stopped.
Liam, who lives with his parents on Sutton Grove, Chorley, used the first aid skills he had learned as a scuba diving master, to help the stricken
“He was just gasping for air,” said Liam, who helped along with another passer-by. “All at once his body went blue. I’m a first aid trainer. I said to my girlfriend, who was with me, to get a defibrillator. I started CPR.
“I saw two PCSOs. I shouted to them to get a defibrillator. They came back with one pretty quick.
“While all this was going on, I was still doing CPR. I put the defibrillator on his chest and shocked him and continued with CPR. I think it was about seven minutes before the ambulance arrived.
“There was a police officer who helped too.
“A paramedic came. I continued with CPR I think for about two minutes after.”
Liam, who works for his family’s firm, Aztec Domestics in Chorley, added: “All I know is, we got him back to life.
“I’d never seen a defibrillator before until that day. You just get on with it. I believe anyone else with first aid training would have got on with it.”
PCSOs Ben Pilling and Tracey Johnston, along with PC Jim Colclough, all took part in the life-saving rescue using a defibrillator from Chorley Market.
Liam added: “We need to raise awareness of defibrillators. There are three in town apparently – but I don’t know where they are.”
Mr Cooper’s son Mark, 46, said his father was now recovering in the coronary ward at Chorley Hospital.
He thanked everyone who helped to save his father’s life.
He said; “We are absolutely thrilled to bits that Liam reacted the way he did, and not only that, he had medical training with his scuba diving.
“And everybody else who helped and the fact there was a defibrillator.”
He supported Liam’s call for more defibrillator awareness.
“They’re in the town centre so people should know more about them,” he said.
Jag Patel, of Krishan Jewellers, Market Place, who also attended the incident, praised Liam’s quick-thinking action.
He said: “I was there. It’s brilliant what he did.”
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s community resuscitation manager for Cumbria and Lancashire, Mark Evans, said: “An incident like this emphasises just how important it is to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on hand.
“AEDs are so simple to use and will only deliver a shock to the patient if necessary.
“A patient’s chance of survival decreases ten per cent for every one minute that passes without defibrillation.”
Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We realise the importance of having access to life-saving equipment and that’s why we decided to get three defibrillators installed in the town centre at the town hall and Union Street, and the covered market.
“It’s great to hear that the man who benefitted from the treatment using the defibrillators is now recovering well.”