‘I owe my life to Vicky’

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A woman saved the life of a colleague after he suffered a heart attack at work.

Bob Taylor, 54, who works at B&CE Benefit Schemes in Manor Royal, said he felt unwell the night before he collapsed, but battled into work the next day.

He sat down in his chair in the office but immediately collapsed at his desk.

Quick thinking colleague Vicky Allen, 30, carried out chest compressions with paramedics for half an hour before the Sussex Air Ambulance arrived.

Bob, who is from York but stays in a hotel in Crawley during the week, said: “I owe my life to Vicky, there is no other way of putting it.

“I don’t remember anything about what happened at all that day. I don’t even remember being in the office that morning.

“I had been staying in a local hotel the night before and wasn’t feeling particularly well.

“I was still feeling a bit ill the next morning and my colleague suggested that I didn’t go to work.

“I still went into the office and it’s fortunate that I did because there were other people around me including the trained first aider.

“I sat in my chair and the next minute I collapsed.”

Dr Magnus Nelson and critical care paramedic David Wright anaesthetized Bob in his office – a skill usually performed in Accident and Emergency units – before taking him to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Bob spent four days at the hospital’s intensive care unit after the incident on January 27.

He has now made a full recovery and is back at work.

Vicky, from Horsham, said she had followed British Heart Foundation’s Stayin’ Alive advert where Vinnie Jones demonstrates how to carry out resuscitation techniques.

Vicky who is also the company’s first aider said: “I have never done anything like this before and it was quite a traumatic experience. The worst I’ve had to deal with before is cut fingers and nosebleeds.

“I’m just so happy that it was a really good outcome and I’m proud that I was able to make a difference to someone’s life. It’s so important to think that I have given someone a chance.

“The Vinnie Jones advert was very good at re-affirming what you are doing for someone in that situation.

“It certainly stuck in my head, the rhythm and speed of the compressions, and I was quite pleased that I had something from recent memory to fall back on. I just went into auto mode.”

Bob was reunited with Vicky and David for the first time last week as staff at B&CE presented a cheque for £1,000 to Sussex Air Ambulance.

Paramedic David from Sussex Air Ambulance said: “Vicky did a fantastic job and was probably the most important link in the chain, followed by the ambulance service and then ourselves. We were a small part of that chain and the whole team ethos is very important.”

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