‘Take two hours and learn how to save someone’s life’

Pauline Millar with her mother Sheila Osborne,  who are highlighting CPR after  Pauline saved  her mothers  life
Pauline Millar with her mother Sheila Osborne, who are highlighting CPR after Pauline saved her mothers life

A heroic daughter who saved her mother’s life with CPR is now appealing for everyone to acquire knowledge about the life-saving skill.

Pauline Millar was just about to make a cup of tea for her 65-year-old mum Sheila Osborne, when she took a heart attack. Using CPR she saved her mum’s life.

Mrs Millar told her story as Health Minister Edwin Poots launched the Community Resuscitation Strategy for Northern Ireland, which aims to significantly increase the number of people with CPR skills.

The aim of the campaign is to increase Northern Ireland’s survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, which is currently only 10 per cent.

Mrs Millar, a mother-of-three, said: “My mum had a heart attack in June 2013 in the middle of a conversation we were having. All of a sudden she fell to the floor.

“At that stage I had not had any formal CPR training but I started doing what I thought was CPR, what you see on TV I suppose. I got my son Eoin to ring 999 and they talked me through what I should have been doing. It was very distressing for them and for me too.”

The 40-year-old Dunmurry woman, whose mother recovered completely from the heart attack, said: “My mum had a good outcome, she is back to her brilliant self.

“After going through all of that we both joined the campaign. But it happened so quickly that day and pretty early on I realised it was something serious. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I had an idea.

“Now I have been trained properly in CPR and it is so simple to take two hours out of your life to learn how to recognise the symptoms and learn what to do. If our experience and our story can help save another life I could not emphasise enough how important it is.

“From children right through to adults, everyone should know what to do in an emergency because it gives you hope.”

Speaking ahead of today’s launch, Mr Poots said: “There are many people who simply would not be here if it weren’t for the quick-thinking and courage of those who administered CPR. Their stories are inspirational to hear. By having knowledge and training in this area, you too could come to someone’s aid when they need help the most.

“In 2011/2012 there were around 1,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, with three-quarters of them occurring in the home.

“Less than 10 per cent of those 1,400 people survived.”

Knowing CPR would be peace of mind: Poots

Health Minister Edwin Poots has urged everyone to take the time to learn CPR as “you’d be surprised how uncomplicated it is and you never know the moment when you may need it”.

“It would be peace of mind to know that you had the knowledge and skills to help save a loved one, or indeed a stranger,” he added.

In general CPR training courses will cover: how to recognise that someone may be having a cardiac arrest; calling for help and asking if a defibrillator machine is available; and the basics of CPR training; practical session, rehearsing learned techniques on a training mannequin.

The strategy, launched today, is available at http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/resus-strategy.htm

There are a number of CPR training providers in Northern Ireland, across all sectors: private, public, and voluntary and community.

The Community Resuscitation Strategy was developed by a group that includes the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, a number of government departments and community and voluntary bodies.