Off-duty Hull Royal nurse Gary Hewitt saves train passenger's life
AN OFF-duty A&E nurse has been hailed a "credit to his profession" for saving the life of a commuter who collapsed after suffering a heart attack.
Gary Hewitt, who works at Hull Royal Infirmary, had been on a walking break when he found the unconscious man on the main concourse at Glasgow train station.
He said: "My wife and I had gone to buy some train tickets and taken a wrong turning in Glasgow station and came across this scene – a man had collapsed.
"Police officers and a load of other people were standing around him. He had turned blue and had collapsed a few minutes before I arrived.
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"I did a quick assessment. He had suffered a full cardiac arrest and hurt himself quite badly when he had collapsed.
"After making sure an ambulance had been called, I began performing chest compressions."
Meanwhile, British Transport Police officers rushed to fetch a defibrillator – a machine capable of restarting the heart.
Father-of-three Gary, 55, who has 31 years' A&E experience, said: "When the machine turned up, I used it to shock the guy twice. I am at home with this equipment and use it all the time.
"It worked. His heart restarted and he began breathing. It was a massive relief."
Gary, who lives in the Beverley area, said it was lucky he was in the right place at the right time.
He said: "I train people in resuscitation techniques but you never expect to have to use your skills when you are off-duty. I am just pleased I was able to help the guy."
Gary had visited Scotland to complete the West Highland Way walk from Glasgow to Fort William.
"Afterwards, my wife and I went for a sit down and a cup of tea – we needed it," he said.
Due to patient confidentiality, Gary was unable to find out if the man had survived.
But a call some weeks later from the police informing him he was to be awarded a commendation for his actions delivered the news he had been hoping for.
"The guy was taken off to hospital," said Gary. "I knew the hospital would not give me a condition check, so I didn't ring.
"But then the police told me he had survived. Not only that, he had returned to work."
During a presentation ceremony in Glasgow, Gary met the man, who has not been named.
Gary was thanked by the man for saving his life.
Officers say he is a 60-year- old BT worker.
Alison Lovatt , interim chief nurse at Hull Royal Infirmary, said: "First and foremost, we are very pleased the gentleman in question is recovering well and we would like to pass on our best wishes to him.
"Gary is a credit to his profession and our trust and we are extremely proud to say he works for our organisation."