Passers-by who rushed to the aid of a cyclist in north west England have been credited with saving his life by using a defibrillator to restart his heart when it stopped after he was knocked off his bike.
The defibrillator had only been installed at Billinge News and Booze in Billinge, midway between St Helens and Wigan, last month, according to local newspaper the St Helens Reporter.
Sub-postmaster, Ashley Williams, told the newspaper that people rushed to the shop after the cyclist, a man believed to be aged in his 50s, was knocked from his bike by a vehicle at around 10.30 on Tuesday morning.
“They ran in saying they needed the defibrillator because someone had stopped breathing,” he said.
“All I saw was the dentist from nearby giving him CPR. He shocked him twice and he started breathing.
“There was a retired doctor who said he has never seen one used before. He said if it hadn’t been there he wouldn’t have made it.”
According to the St Helens Reporter, the dentist who helped the cyclist was Alec Bate.
In a post to a community social media page his partner Deborah Benali, who also works in dentistry, said: “We all do the defibrillator training but it’s so very different when it’s a real-life situation.
“Super-proud of you and all that assisted in helping this poor guy.”
Paramedics treated the cyclist, whose identity is not known, at the scene before taking him to hospital. There was no update on his condition.
A campaign to install two defibrillators in Billinge was led by Derek Garland, who runs the Eagle & Child pub.
He said: “A guy was giving CPR so Ashley has run across with the machine.
“It’s actually re-started his heart. We don’t know his position and he has been taken to hospital but it could be good news.
“This could have saved a life at the end of the day and that means the defibrillator has automatically paid for itself.”
The prompt use of a defibrillator was last year credited with saving the lives of two cyclists who suffered heart attacks on Mont Ventoux in Provence just hours apart.
Several websites in the UK, including HeartSafe, provide maps showing the locations of defibrillators, and it’s worth familiarising yourself with where they are situated in your local area.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.