Ipswich man saves father-in-law after cardiac arrest at beach day-out
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A quick-thinking Ipswich man saved his father-in-law's life by performing CPR as a beach day-out almost turned into a tragedy.
The family were enjoying time at the seaside at Walton-on-the-Naze when everything suddenly took a turn for the worst.
Byron Mallon was with his fiancee and holding his daughter when he saw his father-in-law Phil Smith wandering away to put something in the bin.
Something told Mr Mallon to follow Mr Smith to the sea wall and while up there he saw Mr Smith having what looked like a seizure and turning a "greyish blue colour".
Mr Mallon, as a worker at disability charity Genesis Orwell Mencap, had dealt with a lot of seizures in his life.
Despite feeling "scared", he stayed calm and shouted for help -and an off-duty nurse ran over. They called for an ambulance and he began performing CPR as his father-in-law had gone into cardiac arrest and his heart had stopped.
He also put his two-year-old daughter Maizie down and a passer-by looked after her.
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Mr Smith was taken to Colchester Hospital for further care. He has recovered but still has heart issues.
His son-in-law said he still cannot believe how everything perfectly aligned on August 12.
He had just had a refresher course for CPR after never using it in the 10 years of being trained. The ambulance first responder was also only a mile away from Walton-on-the-Naze so came quickly and a nurse just happened to be there on the day.
The hospital also later said without Mr Mallon's "quick thinking" Phil may not have survived his heart-stopping.
Mr Mallon, who lives on Bramford Road, wonders if it was just his fiance and mother-in-law would they have known what to do and would anyone have seen his father-in-law having a cardiac arrest if he had not followed him.
"You're kind of scared at that moment and you have to stay calm," he added. "It all happened so quickly. Things were on his side and he was so lucky in his way.
"It was scary. I think people really need to know CPR."
This experience also made Mr Mallon push for his workplace, disabilities charity Genesis Orwell Mencap to get a new defibrillator for their diner.
It was funded by the Arnold Clark Community Fund.
Byron’s mother-in-law, Jayne Smith said: “CPR is a marvellous thing to know and if it wasn't for the calmness and quick thinking of my son in law, Byron, and the first aid training provided by Genesis Orwell Mencap, it would have been a different story.”