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National Volunteers' Week: St John Ambulance volunteer saves life of 80-year-old man

National Volunteers' Week is an annual celebration of the 21 million wonderful people that spend their time making a difference across the UK. Read about how volunteer Sue saved the life of 80-year-old David Inman

Sue Grant with David InmanSue is 51, lives in North Yorkshire, is a regular churchgoer, has volunteered for St John Ambulance since she was 12, and is now as a youth leader. Sue has also saved a life.

If it weren’t for Sue, 80-year-old David Inman would have died on the 25 January this year. Here’s the story about why he didn’t.

Walking back from church on a Monday, Sue was alerted to an incident by a fellow churchgoer in distress who she knew had a hearing impairment. Knowing she could read lips, Sue offered her assistance and immediately jumped to action. A bystander had already called for an ambulance.

After assessment, Sue knew David was not breathing and immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) along with a passer-by who also stopped to help. He had been first aid trained but had forgotten what to do, so Sue taught him the technique and they continued for 20 minutes.

A nurse driving by also came onto the scene to assist and Sue also showed her the CPR technique, as well as a local off-duty policeman who was in the area.

The group of good Samaritans, led by Sue, continued CPR until the ambulance arrived and paramedics took David to Harrogate Hospital, before transferring him to Leeds General Infirmary, where he underwent surgery. After spending three days in a coma, David was released to begin the recovery process at home.

Naturally, David and his family were keen to meet Sue to thank her for her life saving actions. He said: ‘I’m so grateful to Sue as without her first aid intervention I wouldn’t have survived. It really is a miracle and I am living proof that first aid really works. I’m still undergoing treatment, but am recovering very well and I have Sue and a group of good Samaritans to thank for that.’

As important as Sue’s and David’s story is, it’s just one of a countless number of deeds of goodwill performed by St John Ambulance volunteers every year. From applying a plaster to a grazed knee at a village fete, spending time managing our volunteers base, to actually saving someone’s life; they all deserve our thanks - and they all need your support.

Your donation could help support volunteers like Sue