The wife of a farmer from Cambridgeshire has saved her husband’s life by performing CPR for 20 minutes.
Sabrina Walston discovered David Walston lying on the floor of their bedroom - having suffered a serious cardiac arrest - on July 22, 2019.
She immediately launched into action, performing CPR she learnt when training to become a first responder.
The 37-year-old continued to press on her husband’s chest for the next 13 minutes, all while receiving instructions from a 999 call handler.
Her exhausting task was not over once the paramedics arrived because they needed to assemble a defibrillator.
After she had performed CPR for 20 minutes, the ambulance crew finally took over and shocked David’s heart back to life.
Sabrina, 37, said: “Having something to do for those 13 minutes before we hung up on that call and the lady counting with me for 13 minutes, making sure I was doing it correctly, gave me something to do.
“Amazingly, it has meant that David’s had a really good recovery.”
David, also 37, was taken to Addenbrooke’s and then the Royal Papworth Hospital where he remained for four days. He is now fully recovered and working on his farm near Duxford.
The cardiac arrest he suffered is known as ventricular fibrillation, which is caused by an abnormal heartbeat. He had no pre-existing health conditions and is therefore one of just a few people to suffer the attack completely randomly.
He said: “95% of people who have a cardiac arrest die before they get to hospital.
“If I’d been anywhere else - in the office, in a field, on a tractor - you’ve only got a matter of minutes for someone to start CPR otherwise its curtains.
“So I was lucky I was in the presence of someone who could do it.”
The Walston’s story has been used by doctors to demonstrate the value of learning CPR.
Dr David Begley, Clinical Director for Cardiology at the Royal Papworth, said: “You would hope that the majority of people that get taught this never have to do this in their lives because its not a pleasant experience.
“But it’s not a difficult task to do.”