Christmas miracle as quick thinking saves Shirley great gran - The Solihull Observer

Christmas miracle as quick thinking saves Shirley great gran

Solihull Editorial 21st Dec, 2016   0

AN EARLY CHRISTMAS miracle unfolded in Shirley when an 82-year-old great grandmother, whose heart had stopped, was brought back to life thanks to the quick-thinking of her great grandsons and retired nurse neighbour who heroically administered CPR for 20 minutes.

Barbara Woodley was looking after 11-year-old Jake and seven-year-old Beau at her home in Shirley when the near-tragedy struck on November 20.

The boys’ mum Lydia Stafford got a call from Jake saying his great gran was on the floor and not breathing, having choked on some food.

Lydia, herself a nurse, told the boys to go and fetch help from the neighbours while she called for an ambulance.




News came back that Barbara had died – Leaving Lydia to drive home heartbroken.

But when she arrived, she discovered her gran had miraculously been revived.


Fate had intervened.

The neighbour the boys had knocked on the door of for help – Margaret Guest – is a retired Heartlands Hospital auxiliary nurse.

Maggie rushed to the aid of Barbara and spent 20 minutes administering CPR, re-starting her heart and keeping her alive until the paramedics arrived.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got home and gran was alive,” Lydia told The Observer.

“It was a miracle as her heart had stopped for around six minutes.

“Without the amazing quick-thinking of my boys and the life-saving CPR by Maggie she would never have survived – she really was or Christmas angel.”

Barbara spent the best part of four weeks at Heartlands Hospital recovering – 11 days in intensive care and a week on the critical list.

But, thanks to everyone involved, she is now back home just in time for Christmas.

Lydia added: “We are eternally thankful to Maggie and I am so proud of my boys for their bravery in such a scary situation.

“I would really like to use what happened to gran to encourage everyone to learn CPR and basic first aid.

“If Maggie had not known how to do it we would not be looking forward to Christmas with gran.

“As a nurse, I know how to do CPR, but I think everyone should be taught how do do it – especially from a young age – you never know when you will be able to use it to save someone’s life.”

Lydia is now planning to encourage as many people as possible to learn basic life-saving skills – especially calling on schools to incorporate it into the curriculum.

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