Case Study: Natalie - "Without really thinking, I knew I had to act"

Natalie Jones, a midwife in the NHS, had completed her Resuscitation Council UK Immediate Life Support training just two weeks before her grandfather suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at her family home.

It was a seemingly ordinary day when Natalie's family gathered for a Sunday roast at her mother's house. Her grandfather, a man in his early 70s, had spent the morning tending to his lawn, exhibiting his usual vitality.

As the family sat down to enjoy their meal, Natalie's grandfather suddenly mentioned feeling tired from his earlier gardening. Despite his complaints, he remained his stoic self, not wanting to make a fuss. However, Natalie noticed his condition was deteriorating rapidly and before the family could react, he collapsed onto the sofa.

Without really thinking, I knew I had to act. I’m so thankful I had recently completed resuscitation training and knew how to recognise signs of a cardiac arrest.
Natalie Jones

Acting swiftly, Natalie instructed her father to help move her grandfather to the floor while her mother was asked to call 999. With her resuscitation training fresh in her mind, Natalie immediately began CPR, communicating with and updating the 999 call handler.

A rapid responder quickly arrived, assessing the situation and providing a defibrillator. Natalie continued her resuscitation efforts alongside the first responder until the Air Ambulance team arrived to take over.

Natalie said: “Although I had worked in the NHS for many years, I had never seen a collapsed patient before and now my Grandfather was being resuscitated on my mother’s living room floor!”

Thanks to the expertise of the ambulance crew, her grandfather was stabilised and transported to the hospital, where it was discovered that he needed a stent due to previously unknown underlying heart disease. He regained consciousness and was able to spend time with his family before passing away a few weeks later.

The family were devastated by the loss, but found solace in the precious extra time they were given with him, thanks to Natalie's swift actions and the collaborative efforts of the emergency services.

Natalie said “Although the outcome was not what we had hoped for, the gift of those extra weeks together was immeasurable.

“I’m so grateful that I did my training and I was there for him. Being able to help, despite the outcome, means so much to me. I would urge anyone that has the opportunity to attend life support training because it really can save lives”