Heroine table tennis player saves life of fellow player whose heart stopped beating

Quick-thinking Lesley Slack has been hailed a hero for bringing a table tennis player who collapsed with a heart attack back to life.

The 43-year-old spent around 20 minutes performing CPR on the man who started struggling for breath after a league match in a remote village hall in Gloucestershire.

And proud husband Graham, who was there at the time, says it's down to his wife's "courage, determination and skill" that the man, who they did not know, survived to have heart surgery and is now recovering well,

"I am married to a hero," he said. "I think his heart stopped on two occasions but Lesley persisted and kept him alive. I'm very proud of her."

She had just finished her division two match when there was a commotion behind the curtain separating the two tables and heard somebody asking if there was a first-aider in the house.

"I jogged around the curtain and saw a man sitting down who was really struggling for breath," she said.

"His lips had turned blue and I could see from his eyes that it wasn't good, he wasn't there, so I told somebody to call for an ambulance.

"He stopped breathing so I asked somebody to help me get him on the floor and started CPR. I think I switched into work mode because I was just shouting commands."

Luckily for the patient Lesley only started playing table tennis again last month after a year out of the game and had been on an intensive first aid refresher course in August.

By the time paramedics took over Lesley was exhausted. but she was delighted when the man came back to life and mumbled something about feeling fine and wanting to get back to his table tennis.

Paramedics told him he was alive thanks to Lesley before whisking him away to hospital for a heart operation where he is said to be recovering well.

"I was absolutely shattered afterwards," said Lesley who has been on first aiding courses regularly since the age of 16 when she became a lifeguard.

"I think at the time I just went into work mode, which is testament to all the excellent training I've had over the years. I'd been on an intensive refresher course in August and it was all still very fresh in my mind.

"I went into overdrive at the time but since then it's been quite overwhelming and emotional. I just hope I didn't press too hard on his chest and bruise him."

Author: via Gloucester Table Tennis League
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