First aider saves a life at 30,000 ft
A first aid trainer from West Ealing
has been recalling the life-saving role he played
in a dramatic emergency at 32,000 feet!
Keith Godwin, a trainer for St John
Ambulance in London, was just a few hours into a holiday flight to
Ibiza when a passenger on the plane began showing severe signs of a
The 63-year-old, who works as a full-time
trainer for St John Ambulance and is also a part-time volunteer,
reacted to a commotion in nearby seats, and quickly offered his
'I was just starting to relax in preparation
for my holiday, when I saw several cabin staff attending to one
passenger,” he said.
'I offered my services and found myself
attending to a 57-year-old man who was showing all the signs and
symptoms of a serious cardiac problem.'
Keith took the patient’s history and
requested the oxygen therapy equipment from cabin staff. He
continued: 'I was able to keep the man stable and reassured the
captain that there would be no need to divert as we were only a
short distance from Ibiza.'
'Medics then came on to the plane as soon as we landed and I
handed over to them.'
Although Keith did not see the patient after
his dramatic in-flight experience, he is happy he played a part to
‘make a difference for the better’.
He said: 'What the experience taught me was
that you just never know when your first aid skill will be called
upon. This really was a case of acting on the spur of the moment
and doing what you can to preserve a life or prevent a condition
Keith joined St John Ambulance in 1994 and
is regularly involved in duties for the organisation, including
providing first aid cover at the likes of the London Marathon and Trooping the Colour.