TED Summerfield has absolutely no memory of perhaps the most significant event in his life.
On February 28 last year, he was collecting his grandson Denzel from school, and suffered a massive heart attack.
Six relative strangers came to his aid, and yesterday those six people received certificates of appreciation from NSW Ambulance for their efforts.
Libby Dawes, who was collecting her daughter from school, saw Mr Summerfield fall and immediately went to his aid, joined by Brett Griffiths, Joe Luchetti, Gabriella Billington, Tony Challita and Amanda Sheward.
“He collapsed next to me and hit his head. Another man was there and we both ran to him. There was quite a bit of blood and we noticed he was very blue. We put him in to the recovery position straight away because he was knocked out,” she said.
Mrs Dawes rang triple-0 and said the call-taker was “just fabulous”.
NSW Acting Inspector Adam Parker said that the school had only weeks earlier purchased a defibrillator as a precaution for a student with a heart condition.
Acting Inspector Parker, Bathurst station officer Matthew Bray and paramedics Christian Stokes and Jason Speight were on scene within four minutes of Mrs Dawes’ call and continued the treatment.
“The bystanders did effective CPR and were able to get one shock into him. When we got there, we continued with CPR and administered a further shock which put him back into a sinus rhythm (normal heartbeat),” Acting Inspector Parker said.
He praised the work of the community members involved in Mr Summerfield’s treatment. “In these situations, seconds count. If not for their quick response, it is quite possible he would not be with us today,” he said.
Mrs Dawes, a teacher at the Scots School, said she employed first aid skills learned at school courses, which in recent years has included the use of a defibrillator.
“I’ve done that training for 25 years and never had to use it until now. I think the defibrillator really did save the patient’s life. Although we were doing the CPR, I think that helped him stay with us until the ambos arrived. I was very appreciative of the school having one.”
Mrs Dawes said she was proud to have assisted in saving a person’s life.
“It’s a good feeling. The family has also made contact since to thank me, which was lovely.”