Skip to content

Sittingbourne woman reunited with life-savers

Press release 18 November 2010

A South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust clinician is calling on more people to learn basic life support training after a Maidstone police community support officer from Sittingbourne helped save the life of his wife.

Medway Technician and staff first responder, Simon Trafford, who was first on scene to the emergency, said without the early and effective CPR which was being carried out on Mrs Jackie Rowley before he arrived, he doubts she would be alive today.

He said: “From experience I can say that it is not very common for a person to survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.  And it is thanks to the good work which was carried out by Jackie’s husband, Dave, and his neighbour before we arrived that we were able to get such a positive outcome.

“This case clearly highlights how important early CPR is to ensuring that a person in cardiac arrest survives and I would urge everyone to consider getting the training as you just never know when it may be required.”

Mrs Jackie Rowley (54) from Sittingbourne was spending a quiet evening at home with her husband Dave (55) when she suffered the arrest on Tuesday, 13 July.

She said: “I appreciate just how lucky I am to be here today. Not many people survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who was involved in treating me - ambulance, nurses and doctors.  It is just a small thing to say ‘thank you’ but what else I can I do.”

Mrs Rowley has no memory of what happened during that summer evening.  However, her husband Dave (55), a police community support officer for the past 18 months, remembers.

He said: “There was no warning, nothing to suggest there was a problem.  I had just gone to the kitchen and was about to go upstairs to have a shower, when I decided to pop my head around the door to speak to Jackie.  It was then I knew something was wrong.  She was make a funny noise which just didn’t sound right and she was staring into space.  I tried shaking her out of it and realised that something was seriously wrong.”

Fearing the worse, David called out for help and then called 999. He was advised to immediately start CPR.

A neighbour, Martin Allan, who is also a police support officer with the Metropolitan Police Force, offered support.

Dave: “As you can imagine I was very upset and found it very difficult but then I remember Martin saying ‘remember your training’ and I started to do CPR.  Then after a while Martin took over until the ambulance staff arrived.”

Simon Trafford, who was off-duty at the time, was returning home when he received an alert via is mobile.

He said: “I was literally a few roads away and just went straight there.  When I arrived CPR was being carried out.  I asked if they were happy to continue while I got the defibrillator ready. Further ambulance staff arrived, one shock was then delivered and we got her back.” 

Ambulance clinicians continued to stabilise Mrs Rowley before taking her to Medway hospital.

She has subsequently being fitted with a defibrillator and is making a very good recovery.

Mr and Mrs Rowley along with Martin Allan will be reunited with ambulance staff at the station on Monday.

Bookmark and Share