Poole carer saves spouses life thanks to first aid skills
An 84-year-old Poole woman has praised St
John Ambulance for providing her with the skills to save her
Only a week after completing the St John Ambulance Dorset Carers
Support Programme, Poole pensioner, Jane Holt, was required to put
her newly-learned first aid skills to practice.
Mrs Holt cares full time for her husband Peter who suffers with
Dementia. She undertook the programme to enable her to cope with
the demands of her caring role.
It was while sitting in the conservatory of their Hamworthy home
that Mrs Holt realised something wasn’t quite right with her
husband. He had suddenly lost the use of one side of his body, gone
blind in one eye and was slurring his speech. She swiftly swung
into action and dialled 999.
'I was aware that as I was talking to the emergency services
that the ambulance would be on its way, I was able to remain calm
and give all the information I was asked for.'
As a direct result of the course she was able to recognise her
husband's symptoms using the FAST method and take the appropriate
'First aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life
saved. I knew what to do and what to say and was able to stay calm
knowing help was on its way,' she said.
Julie McDermott, Carers Support Programme Lead Manager, said
that people of Mrs Holt’s generation may not know how to react
in such situations. As a consequence the programme has specifically
targeted carers in her age group to bring them up to speed with
first aid skills.
'A lot of people don't know that stroke is a medical emergency
and that it is something that needs to be dealt with quickly,' she
Failure to act quickly can result in severe disability, but as a
result of Mrs Holt's prompt action and the subsequent speed with
which her husband was treated within Poole hospital, he was able to
return home to her care after two days. He has regained the sight
in his eye, the use of the effected side and his speech has
Julie McDermott said that the Carers Support Programme has had
quite a number of life saving successes and that they are very
proud of Mrs Holt.
The free four week course covers first aid training, information
about subjects ranging from safer handling, managing continence,
preventing falls and managing stress plus a module on Dementia
The courses are run regularly by Registered Nurses throughout
Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Avon and the Channel Islands they consist
of only one morning a week and include a free lunch.
For more information about the course please phone Kerry Course
on 01305 751160.