A young dad used first-aid skills he learned as an Army reservist to give lifesaving CPR to an elderly neighbour who was trapped under his car.
Kyle Twydale and partner Lauren Skilton rushed to the aid of the man after two women raised the alarm outside the home in Davison Drive, West View, Lauren shares with son Dylan, three, at 10.30am today.
“You could see his legs under the car, kicking about, and you could hear him shouting for help,” said 25-year-old Kyle.
“His full body was under the car - he could not move.”
Lauren stopped a former schoolmate, Chris Lund, who was passing and he and Kyle were able to lift the car long enough to get it back on the jacks and pull the man, who was in his 70s, clear.
He had stopped breathing, had no pulse, and his pupils were dilated. “I thought he was dead,” said Lauren, 23.
I started CPR straightaway and after about 20 compressions, he started coughing and his colour came back. I could feel the pressure in his chest increasing as his lungs fulled with air.Kyle Twydale
Kyle immediately set to work to resuscitate the man: “When we pulled him out, he was blue,” he said. “He was purple in the face - I have never seen anything like it.
“I started CPR straightaway and after about 20 compressions, he started coughing and his colour came back. I could feel the pressure in his chest increasing as his lungs filled with air.
“His pulse came back pretty sharply and he started to gargle, so we put him in the recovery position and kept rubbing his back to keep him breathing.
“I just kept hold of his head and making sure he was alright.”
Kyle, who runs a mobile cleaning business, is a reservist with the Royal Logistics Corp and receives regular training in first aid from one of the corporals who is also a paramedic.
“In all the training I have had, they tell you to keep going until help arrives or the victim starts breathing,” he said.
He is in no doubt that the lessons he had learned as a reservist were critical: “If I had not had that training, I would probably have messed up and hurt him even more but the training just snapped in straightaway.
“It must only have been a couple of minutes, but it felt like a lifetime.”
The man was treated at the scene by firefighters and paramedics before being taken to James Cook University Hospital.
Andy Hardy, watch manager at Stranton Fire Station, said: “The man was suffering with crush injuries. He had been given CPR by a member of the public and was breathing when we arrived.”