Delivery drivers save man's life after collapse
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Two deliverymen saved a man's life after finding him collapsed in his home while on their rounds.
Harry Crowe and Lewis Wright had called at a customer's address in Gorleston to deliver a fridge when they discovered him lying on the floor.
The man stopped breathing, but the pair's swift actions - which included giving him CPR - kept him alive until paramedics arrived.
The duo, who work for Hughes Electrical, have been credited by medics with saving the man's life.
Mr Crowe, from Oulton Broad, said: "It started out as a standard day at work really.
"One of our jobs in the afternoon was to deliver a fridge to a gentleman in Gorleston, so we went up to his house as we normally would to say hello and ask where he wanted it.
"He seemed okay at that point, as any customer would when waiting for a delivery.
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"We went back downstairs to get it off the van and walked it up to his flat.
"My colleague Lewis was going up backwards and was first in when he swore a few times and said the customer was on the floor.
"We put the fridge down quickly and he was lying on his back sprawled out.
"It didn't look great."
Paramedics were called, but it needed the actions of the delivery duo to keep the man alive until they arrived.
Mr Crowe said: "Lewis called an ambulance as soon as we saw him.
"He looked as though he'd had a seizure or a fit and at first I thought he was breathing so I put him in the recovery position.
"After about five seconds I put my face next to his mouth and nose and could feel nothing. There was no breath on me at all.
"I could see he wasn't breathing and his lips went blue, so I laid him on his back and started doing CPR while we waited for the paramedics to arrive.
"I don't know how long I was doing it for but it felt about five minutes.
"I was still doing CPR while they were there setting themselves up, before they quickly took over, cut his shirt open and used the defibrillator.
"They said I got his heart going, but in an irregular rhythm, so they had to shock it to get it going normally again."
The 25-year-old had worked as a lifeguard at Lowestoft's Waterlane Leisure Centre for four years before starting at Hughes, around four years ago.
He said: "It was a strange day. I think I was fairly calm because I'd done the training, even though it was a few years ago, but it was something we did religiously, at least once a month with the dummies out.
"We practiced techniques quite a lot for adults, children and babies.
"It was stressful and wasn't very pleasant, but at the time I was just saying 'come on' and trying to do something and keep my rhythm going.
"I was quite out of breath because I'd had Covid the week before, so this was my first few days back at work and I was still slightly out of breath thinking it was hard work.
"Eventually we heard the sirens and I knew we were close."
Three ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, and a fire crew were called to the flat, Mr Crowe said.
"After they took him to hospital I rang my boss up and explained what happened," he said.
"I had about three jobs left and ended up passing two of them to a colleague in the area, which I felt bad about, and then I had an interview for another job when I got back to the depot.
"It's the same company, just a completely different role, and I got that job, so it was a bit of a crazy day."
The incident happened on the afternoon of Thursday, December 23. The man, who is believed to be in his 30s, is understood to have returned home shortly before New Year after a short spell in hospital.
Learn CPR to save a life:
If you find someone unconscious and not breathing normally, call 999 for an ambulance, with call handlers able to talk you through the CPR steps.
To carry out hands-only chest compressions, place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person's chest, with your other hand on top and fingers interlocked.
Position yourself so your shoulders are above your hands and, using your body weight, press straight down by 5-6cm on their chest.
Keeping your hands in place, allow the chest to return to its original position, and repeat compressions at a rate of 100-120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives.
For anyone in need of help who may have Covid-19, Resuscitation Council UK advises placing a cloth or towel over the victim's mouth or nose and attempt hands-only CPR.