Mum performs life-saving CPR in Upminster high street – weeks after first aid training

Sue with her first aid certificate

Sue with her first aid certificate - Credit: Vickie Flores

A heroic shop worker brought a woman back from the dead by performing CPR in a packed high street – just weeks after passing a first aid course.

Sue with her first aid certificate

Sue with her first aid certificate - Credit: Vickie Flores

Mum-of-two Sue Gilmour had never used her training before, but she was called into action last week when a woman in her 60s collapsed and went into cardiac arrest in Station Road, Upminster.

Sue, who works in the nearby Roomes store, was first on the scene and performed CPR on the woman, who had stopped breathing.

Her heroics have resulted in two leading charities calling for first aid to be taught to everyone.

British Heart Foundation (BHF) said the survival rate for cardiac arrest is much higher in countries where CPR is taught in school (Norway – 25 per cent) than those where it isn’t (UK – 8.6pc).


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Sue, of Moor Lane, Cranham, said she never expected she would use her training to save somebody’s life.

“I ran over and saw the woman lying on the floor with blood coming out of her nose,” she recalled. “She was on her side but then she stopped breathing and didn’t have vital signs.”

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A crowd had gathered and Sue asked for help turning the woman on to her back so she could perform CPR.

“I did it three times,” said Sue, 39. “I heard the chest crack and I had blood on my face too, it was quite horrific.

“Then the woman took a big gulp, I couldn’t believe it. They say there is such a slim chance you can get someone back.

“I didn’t think I’d be using my training to save someone’s life, I thought it would be a cut finger!”

St John Ambulance echoed the BHF and applauded Sue’s ability to remain calm.

“This is exactly why we believe everyone should learn first aid,” a spokeswoman said. “Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere and people are often left feeling helpless and lives needlessly lost.”

Robert Grover, a passing student paramedic, took over from Sue before ambulance crews arrived and treated the woman, who was taken to hospital.

He said Sue’s quick-thinking “no doubt saved the patient’s life” and wants her to receive a commendation.

“It’s the best CPR I’ve ever seen by a member of the public,” he said.

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