At 5.00am the next morning, everything changed.
“I woke to find her unresponsive,” Andrew says. “I called 111 and the call taker was extremely good. He kept me calm and talked me through what I had to do. I knew CPR but I was in a bit of a panic.” Our call taker kept Andrew on track, and stayed with him the whole time.
“It’s just having someone alongside to keep you calm. He said I was doing the compressions a bit slow so he counted with me. He kept me focused.”
After ten minutes of keeping Bridget alive, Andrew saw the headlights of the ambulance arrive. What a relief.
“I handed over to one of the paramedics who knew exactly what to do. While they carried on with CPR they talked to me the whole time about what was happening.”
Then it was in the ambulance and off to hospital where Bridget spent two days in ICU. One week later the paramedics who helped her that day dropped in to see how she was doing.
“The paramedics came to visit expecting me to still be in the ICU, but found me up and walking around in the ward,” Bridget says. “And today I’m busy living life, being with family, working and volunteering in the community.”
Andrew learned CPR a long time ago. He has kept his first aid training up to date through the years, but he never imagined that the first time he would need it for real would be to save Bridget’s life.
"CPR training is so important because you automatically know where to put your hands, how hard to push and timing.
“Without the Wellington Free Ambulance call taker though, I don’t think I would have been able to do it. Everything you’ve learned almost goes out the window. You need someone to keep you focused."
Andrew says what happened that day has taken a bit to get used to.
“It wakes you up. Makes you think about what life is.”
Bridget says that without Andrew and the team who helped her on that day, she wouldn’t be here. Simple as that.
“Everyone should know how to do CPR,” Bridget Hesketh says.
16 October is international Restart a Heart Day. Learn how to save a life with our Lloyd Morrison Foundation Heartbeat program.