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Woman who helped save her fiance thanks emergency crews

Quick-thinking Jo gave CPR – now she calls on people to donate to air ambulance

A woman has described the terrifying moment her fiance suffered a catastrophic a heart attack – forcing her to perform emergency CPR to keep him alive. Quick-thinking Jo Cleary, 48, leapt to Grahame Mitchell’s aid as he collapsed to the kitchen floor as the couple were preparing lunch on Sunday. For several nail-biting minutes he battled to resuscitate Mr Mitchell while paramedics and the air ambulance were scrambled to their Broomfield home. Ms Cleary says emergency crews spent two hours stabilising the 48-year-old before flying hun to hospital in Ashford. She says she is in no doubt that her husband owes his life to the medics.


She said:

“It was the most horrendous thing to see. He just dropped to the floor, just like that. He stopped breathing and started to go blue. I knew what had happened and have a bit of medical training, so I got on with the CPR while calling 999.”

Doctors have told Ms Cleary that her early first aid on Sunday may well have saved her fiance — but she is keen to praise the professionals who came to help.

“They were there for two hours – it took them 17 minutes just to get a pulse,” she said. “They had to anaesthetise him in the house so they could move him. I just can’t thank them enough – the paramedics, the air ambulance, the police for closing the road.”

Mr Mitchell, who has no history of illness or heart defects, is still in an induced coma in intensive care at the William Harvey Hospital. He has suffered five cardiac arrests in total. Ms Cleary is now urging the public to dig deep for the Kent Air Ambulance charity. She said:

“I’d say to anyone who has a pound to spare to make the donation. You never know when you’ll need it. It took just eight minutes to fly him from Broomfield to Ashford. At the hospital they had a crash team waiting for him at the A&E. The level of care has been incredible.”

She also suggested many lives would be saved if more people had basic medical training. South East Coast Ambulance Service and Kent Air Ambulance confirmed they were called to Margate Road at around noon. Ms Cleary remains at Mr Mitchell’s bedside.

Herne Bay Gazette, January 15th 2015

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