First aid learner's new skills save a life

Tivyside Advertiser: Livesaver Gaynor Funnell (3821725) Livesaver Gaynor Funnell (3821725)

A mother-of-three from Cardigan was forced to call upon her newly-learned First Aid skills to save the victim of a car incident.

Gaynor Funnell, 52, started a First Aid at Work course at Pembrokeshire College last November as part of her job as a physiotherapist.

And just three weeks later she found herself in a real-life saving situation after witnessing a pedestrian struck down by a car.

Gaynor is now encouraging others to learn a new skill, as part of New Year, New You - a Welsh Government campaign part-funded by the European Social Fund and run in partnership with NIACE Dysgu Cymru (the Welsh arm of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.)

Gaynor said: “First Aid skills are something you never really think you’ll need, but my experience has shown just how important they are.”

Rather than panicking when she saw the collision, Gaynor recalled the step-by-step process she was told to follow in an emergency the previous week. Firstly checking his airway for any obstruction and assessing whether he had any visible injuries or breaks.

The man was choking, and Gaynor was able to fish out his false teeth, which had dislodged and were blocking his airway.

She waited with him until paramedics arrived to take him to hospital, where he was treated for concussion and a broken arm.

Doctors say if it hadn’t been for Gaynor being able to utilise her First Aid skills to stop him choking, he may not have survived.

Gaynor added: “The whole experience highlights how important it is to have basic First Aid skills and the confidence to use them.

“You simply never know when you might need them."

Gaynor has since signed up for the Emergency Responder Course which will make her a Community First Emergency Responder.

She said: “I’ll learn more advanced life-saving skills and have the qualifications to use equipment like a defibrillator in the event that the paramedics are held up.

“The accident has also encouraged my husband, David. He’s just signed up for a First Aid course, too.”

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