Foreman gives CPR to collapsed mourner at Pleasington Crematorium
11:00am Friday 16th August 2013 in News
A CREMATORIUM foreman insisted he was ‘no hero’ after giving CPR treatment to a grieving pensioner who had collapsed and stopped breathing before a service.
Dave Rigby, 54, is more accustomed to saying goodbye to the dead at Pleasington Crematorium in Blackburn but found himself ‘acting on instinct’ to help resuscitate a female mourner.
The 81-year-old woman had collapsed just as a funeral was about to start.
Dave, of Bradda Road in Blackburn, said two women rushed to her aid and started performing CPR before he took over while an ambulance was called.
He added: “I’m a trained first aider but doing it for real is very different to working on a dummy. This is the first time anything like this has happened. It’s something you never want to have to do, but instinct just kicked in.
“She started breathing again and I was just desperate to keep those signs of life.
“The paramedics arrived quite quickly and helped continue the treatment, and then told me she had survived.
“When they said that I just felt overwhelmed, but there were a couple of services waiting, so it was straight back to work afterwards. My heart just goes out to the lady and her family because it must have been really distressing for them.
“I pray that she’s going to be all right.
“I wouldn’t say it was heroic, I was just doing what I was trained to do.
“The two ladies helped her as well.
“But real heroes are police officers, paramedics and firemen, not the little chapel attendant in Pleasington.”
An ambulance took the pensioner to hospital on Monday morning.
She was thought to be in a serious but stable condition there yesterday.
Sayyed Osman, environment director at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “What Dave did was nothing short of heroic, he showed tremendous courage and character to act quickly.
“His alertness of mind and willingness to take the decision to apply CPR could well have saved this lady’s life.
“Our thoughts are with the lady, we pray that she will be all right.”
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