'Thanks for stopping and saving my life': Northampton pensioner pays thanks to Special Constable who issued CPR after his heart stopped

Special Constable, Seclan (Selly) Rowles is based in Huntingdon.
Special Constable, Seclan (Selly) Rowles is based in Huntingdon.

A Special Constable who spearheaded the a fight to save the life of a 68-year-old runner in a Northamptonshire road race - where she was also competing - is to receive one of the country’s top national life-saving honours.

Special Constable Seclan (Selly) Rowles of Cambridgeshire Police has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate and has also won the personal praise of the society’s secretary, Dick Wilkinson after administering CPR to Tom Sullivan, after he collapsed and fell into a ditch last year.

Tom Sullivan, pictured minutes before he collapsed during the race.

Tom Sullivan, pictured minutes before he collapsed during the race.

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretches back more than two centuries and is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life, with the Queen as its patron.

Experienced runner, Mr Sullivan of Great Billing said: "I started off as normal and at one and a quarter miles, I had a cardiac arrest, I couldn't remember any thing until I came back around on a Monday evening at about 4pm.

"When I went down, there were quite a lot of people close to me who were skilled in resuscitation, they worked on me and got my heart beating again."

The 68-year-old was rushed to Northampton General Hospital during a five-mile road race in Wellingborough on the morning of July 31 last year.

Tom pictured with Dr Louise Maynard who was running near him in the race and led the team that included Selly, who saved him on the day of the run.

Tom pictured with Dr Louise Maynard who was running near him in the race and led the team that included Selly, who saved him on the day of the run.

Selly immediately rushed to his assistance and, on finding that he was showing no signs of life she, and two others, immediately began to administer CPR where they kept up the arduous procedure for 30 minutes until an ambulance arrived.

A member of the Red Cross, who was at the scene, later said that it was thanks to the swift administration of CPR that Mr Sullivan was brought back from the brink of death and survived.

He added: "I would like to say a huge thank you to Selly who was running in the same race and stopped to carry out CPR with other runners.

"I will forever be forever grateful to Selly, especially when my second grandchild arrives in October... without her, I wouldn't be around for this happy event.

"Thanks for stopping and saving my life."

Mr Sullivan now has a pacemaker fitted and he completed the Wellingborough pre-run event last week.

He also pays thanks to doctor Louise Maynard, PC Mark Pattison and runner Sarah Ellwood who ran to his rescue and comforted his wife, Mary on the day.

Speaking as he announced the award at the Society’s London headquarters, society’s secretary, Dick Wilkinson said: “Time is of the essence in situations like this. It is essential that CPR is started as rapidly as possible if it is to be successful.

"In this instance, Selly was the right person in the right place at the right time and thanks to her training knew exactly what to do.

“There is a big question mark over whether Mr Sullivan would have survived had she and the others who helped acted as they did and as quickly as they did. She richly deserves the award she is to receive.”

No date has yet been fixed for the presentation of the award, which follows a recommendation from Cambridgeshire Police, but it is expected to take place in the near future.