Josie Finch is hailed a hero after saving heart attack victim who fell ill as he drove along A140 in Coddenham

Josie Finch helped to save someone's life after they has a heart attack at the wheel of their car on

Josie Finch helped to save someone's life after they has a heart attack at the wheel of their car on the A140 near Coddenham. - Credit: Archant

A woman has been hailed a hero after turning from holiday-goer to life-saver on a chance encounter while returning from holiday.

Josie Finch, 37, from Ipswich, was driving home from holiday with her partner Sam, along the A140 near Coddenham, when their car was flagged down by a panic-stricken man in the middle of the road.

The distressed man was desperately searching for help for a motorist who was suffering a heart attack at the wheel of his car after stopping in the fast lane.

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Ms Finch, who works at Otley College, and first aid training she had received at work, the pair were able to extract the unconscious man, put him in the recovery position and perform CPR before emergency services arrived.

Ms Finch said: “We had been doing CPR for around five minutes, and then the police eventually arrived. It was only seven minutes but it seemed like an eternity.

“The ambulance crew turned up and took over about 30 seconds after police arrived. The guy was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, and the ambulance crew came over and said to us that we had kept him alive.

“We had helped to save the man’s life. That feels pretty cool.”

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Ms Finch said she cracked one of the man’s ribs as she was doing chest compressions, but kept going because she knew it was his only chance of survival.

The pair had been travelling to the Red Lion pub in Great Bricett, and continued on their planned journey as normal following the heroic incident.

Ms Finch added: “After the incident occurred we just carried on our way. We decided to go to the pub anyway, and we just sat down and said ‘did that actually just happen?’ It was really surreal.”

For Ms Finch, the incident has made her look on life a little bit differently. She said: “It highlighted how easy it is to die and how it’s possible to bring someone back to life.

“Other people have said how amazing we were, but my partner and I don’t feel that way. We both work in care industries - so it was our instinct to stop and help another human being.”

But she received a hero’s welcome on returning to work at the college, and was given champagne and flowers for her inspirational efforts.

Karen Byrnand, marketing manager at Otley College, said: “What she did is beyond heroic and truly inspirational. The gift is more a token of our appreciation. Both myself and the college are proud to be able to have her as a colleague.”

Ms Finch and her partner also received an award from the police, the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Appreciation, and a framed certificate from the Royal Humane Society.