A pair of brothers from a Daventry chippy have been hailed as life-savers after performing vital CPR on a colleague.
Beth Nicholls, aged 17, who works at Michael’s Golden Chippy on the town’s Headlands estate, collapsed at work after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Thanks to the efforts of brothers Mario and Pep Forgione, Beth is now recovering in hospital.
The brothers have been hailed for not only saving Beth’s life, but for promptly starting CPR which kept her brain oxygenated and prevented it suffering damage.
Just after 9pm on Saturday, September 17, Beth and the rest of the staff were starting to tidy up in the chip shop.
Pep said: “Beth turned to talk with Mario but then she just collapsed.
“Mario went straight to her, I called 999 as she’d hit her head.”
Mario said: “Beth went into a sort of seizure.
“Pep was relaying what the paramedics on the phone were saying. They told us to open her airway, but her neck had swollen so I had to force her mouth open. Then they told us to move her into the recovery position. That’s when she let out this last breath and her heart stopped.”
Beth had suffered a cardiac arrest – she had no history of heart problems and no symptoms beforehand.
Pep said: “The paramedic talked us through doing CPR on Beth.
“Mario did the work really, I was just on the phone passing on information between them.”
Mario said: “I’d never been trained to do CPR. It was around 15 minutes before the first paramedic arrived. I kept on doing chest compressions right up until the ambulance arrived and after that as well.”
Beth’s mother Sam said: “We were out at my other daughter’s new house celebrating their move when I got a call that Beth had collapsed at work. We drove over thinking it might be from the heat or something. When we got there the paramedics were using the defibrillator on her.
“That’s when the worst things go through your mind.”
Beth was rushed to hospital and stabilised.
Sam said: “When Beth woke up the doctors warned us she may have suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen. But she was fine – you wouldn’t even know what had happened to her!
“The paramedics said in their experience not one person had survived what Beth had gone through.
“It’s all down to Mario and Pep. Not only did they save Beth’s life, they did CPR which stopped her getting brain damage.”
Beth is now awaiting an operation to fit an internal cardiac defibrillator – a device that will act automatically if she ever suffers the same problem.
Mario said: “It wasn’t until we got home and I spoke to Pep on the phone that it hit home. It’s definitely affected us, but the important thing is that Beth is OK.
“Doing CPR on someone you know, your colleague and friend, and worrying about doing something wrong and what might happen is scary.
“I think it should be taught in schools. I’ve encouraged all the staff here to download the St John Ambulance app so they know what to do.”