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Good samartian talks of Upminster stabbing ordeal

PUBLISHED: 11:17 15 October 2010

Keith and Claire Ambrose were lifesavers

Keith and Claire Ambrose were lifesavers

Archant

A PASSING motorist who helped save the life of a man who had been stabbed has spoken about the ordeal.

Keith Ambrose, 39, and his wife Claire, 33, had just picked up her parents from Cranham and were driving to The Manor restaurant in Rainham when they came across a man covered in blood on the floor propped up against the kerb in Gaynes Park Road, Upminster.

Claire said: “We thought he’d been run over at first.”

The man, who gave his name only as “Geoff”, was found stabbed in the chest on Saturday October 2, around 7.45pm, near to the junction of Elm Avenue.

The housewife said: “We didn’t actually call the ambulance. He was already on the phone to them. Another lady who was there before us took over the call while my husband tended to him. She was very upset.”

Keith said: “When I realised he’d been stabbed I thought I’d better have a closer look.”

The building surveyor lifted up the injured man’s shirtwhich was “sodden with blood” to see where the wound was.

“It must have missed his heart by about an inch,” Keith said.

He continued: “The poor fellow was panicking because he couldn’t breathe.

“I crouched down next to him. I thought his lungs were filling up with blood so I laid him on his side.”

Keith tried to talk to the man and at first he responded.

“He kept asking us to call his girlfriend but we didn’t know who that was,” Claire said.

Keith said: “He stopped talking and his breathing was getting slower and slower. Then he passed out.

“I thought someone needs to do something. I put him onto his back. I couldn’t find a pulse. He wasn’t breathing so I started doing compressions.”

The last time Keith learned any first aid was at school.

He said: “Bearing in mind where the wound was I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it worse but I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. A man was practically dying in front of me. I guess instinct just took over.”

He did about five or 10 compressions before the ambulance crews turned up and took over. Even after emergency crews arrived at the scene Mr and Mrs Ambrose, from Little Dunmow, had to remain there for almost another two hours. He had to surrender his clothes later to the police.

A Havering Police spokesman said: “It‘s highly likely that’s his actions kept the victim alive until the ambulance crews arrived.”

A London Ambulance spokesman added: “We always advise people to do chest compressions if someone stops breathing because it does effectively keep the person alive while the ambulance is on the way.”

But modest Keith said anyone would have done the same.

He said: “Afterwards I was shaking. That was when it hit me. I had to have a quiet moment to myself.”

He’s now hoping to do a refresher course in first aid.

Police are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information to contact detectives from the Violent Crime Unit based in Romford on 01708 779137 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A 37-year-old woman from Rainham was arrested but has since been released from police bail without further action and is no longer a suspect.


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