St John volunteers praised

THREE St John Ambulance volunteers have today been praised for helping to save the life of a football fan whose heart stopped twice after he collapsed at an Ipswich Town match.

THREE St John Ambulance volunteers have today been praised for helping to save the life of a football fan whose heart stopped twice after he collapsed at an Ipswich Town match.

The man, who is believed to be in his 80s, suffered two cardiac arrests and was resuscitated on both occasions by the St John members.

Play had only just begun at the ground on New Year's Day when the man, who was seated in the Greene King stand, suffered a cardiac arrest.

Within 30 seconds, volunteers Paul Sexby, Richard Cracknell and Sarah Bates were on hand and providing first aid.

Jason Gillingham, county ambulance officer for St John Ambulance Suffolk, said: “The three St John volunteers acted very quickly and professionally.

“They had already begun CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and had given the man two shocks with a defibrillator by the time ambulance services arrived.

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“This is the second time in a 12 month period that St John Ambulance volunteers have saved a life in this way in the Ipswich Town grounds.

“It very clearly shows the effectiveness of our system, working alongside the club's marshals and the ambulance service to provide the best possible first aid cover.”

Thousands of supporters saw the commotion in the stands but stewards tried their best to shield the man from the public by putting blankets up around him.

The man, who is believed to be from the Wisbech area of Cambridgeshire, went on to suffer a further cardiac arrest but was successfully resuscitated again before being taken to Ipswich Hospital.

The three volunteers who helped him were part of a 25-strong team of St John members who were on stand-by at the game.

A hospital spokeswoman today described the man's condition as comfortable.

Do you know the man? Would you like to say thank you to the St John's team? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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