A SOLIHULL mother whose heart stopped for two minutes after a cardiac arrest had her life saved by a quick-thinking leisure centre worker.
Mum-of-three Saira Hussain, aged 42, collapsed while playing badminton at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre on Blossomfield Road in Solihull and was close to death.
But CPR-trained duty manager Tom Wilson, aged 27, sprung into action and delivered a single shock from the centre’s defibrillator – followed by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Without immediate action the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are drastically reduced while the chances of brain damage are also increased.
With the ambulance arriving minutes later, Saira’s family and her husband, Nasar, are in no doubt that Tom’s heroics are the reason she is still alive.
They have also thanked lifeguard Amy Wheeler who alerted Tom and people in the sports hall who called the ambulance immediately and put Saira in the recovery position.
Nasar and Saira say they will campaign to get a defibrillator on sports grounds, schools and workplaces in the borough.
They say there needs to be widespread access to the devices, training and eventually a first aider in every home.
Nasar said: “I firmly believe Tom’s quick action saved my partner’s life.
“I knew this was serious. I thought ‘I hope there are people around who can keep her alive until the professionals arrive’.
“The doctor told me the situation was grave, and it was touch and go.
“I didn’t know how superb Tom and his team had been in terms of no-hesitation action.
“She had no pulse, no breathing and Tom shocked the heart and got the rhythm back to where it should be.
“And then he started giving CPR until the paramedics got there.
“CPR was given for six minutes which is a great amount of time because most professionals can only do it for two.
“So Tom is without a shadow of a doubt a hero – and Amy is too.”
Nasar says the ambulance took about eight minutes to get to Saira after being called – and her heart had stopped for two minutes.
Saira said: “I want to thank Tom, Amy and the ladies who helped. Tom’s still quite young but without hesitation he did his job and saved my life.
“He deserves a medal.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “People who know CPR and are prepared to use a defibrillator always give patients in those situations a greater chance of survival.
“They should always be praised for stepping up to the plate.”