Resuscitation Nurse Practitioner saves Luton Town fan’s life

Date: 04/04/2024 | Category: General News

Sue Collins is a Resuscitation Nurse Practitioner, a very varied role which involves teaching all things resuscitation. Sue follows up on out-of-hours emergency calls, and responds to cardiac arrest and medical emergency calls throughout the day. Hear how Sue used her skill and experience to save a life:

On the 30 December 2023

Sue Collins smiling at her desk

“Paul is a lifelong Luton Town Football Club (LTFC) fan, who was on his way to a match with his son and grandson.

“My husband and daughter (Rosie Collins) are season ticket holders at LTFC, so go to most matches. Rosie works at Bedford Hospital as an Apprentice Nursing Associate, and when she can’t attend matches I usually fill her seat. For this particular game, I had requested an extra seat so that all three of us could attend.

“We arrived at our parking spot a few minutes early, then we started walking towards the club. On our way up Kenilworth Road, I heard Steve (Paul’s son) saying ‘dad, dad are you ok?’ and noticed Paul collapsing just in front of us. I helped to lower him to the floor and quickly assessed him. It was apparent that he was unresponsive and not breathing.

“I asked Rosie to call an ambulance and I commenced chest compressions. I then asked Andy, my husband, to find a defibrillator in the club. I continued with CPR for 6-7 minutes until two police officers arrived. One of them took over from me with chest compressions, and after a few seconds we achieved a pulse, and Paul gradually started to respond to Steve.

“At this point the St John Ambulance staff arrived with a defibrillator, which thankfully we didn’t need in the end. I found out later that the defibrillator had to come from inside the ground at the furthest side from where we were. The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) arrived and took Paul to the L&D, and was later transferred again to the Royal Papworth Hospital for open heart surgery, and has since made an excellent recovery.

After the 30 December 2023

Paul and Sue Collins

“A few days later I had a phone call from LTFC to tell me that Paul had survived and was recovering at Papworth. His family made contact with me and I met them a few times. On Sunday 17 March, I finally met Paul for the first time, which was amazing and very emotional.

“On the 18 March, I was invited to LTFC at Kenilworth Road, along with Paul and his family and a gentleman called Ollie who is part of one of the supporters groups. The fans of the club had raised the money to purchase two automated external defibrillators, which have been placed at either side of the ground. These are for public access so can be used by the community as well as on match days. This is so important as well as CPR training, as these are the two things that are evidenced to have an impact on survival from cardiac arrest.

The good that has come of the day

“On the back of this incident and also the recent cardiac arrest of the LTFC player, Tom Lockyer, I emailed the club. I have offered training in CPR and the use of the AED (defibrillator) for the public and also the club staff, which the club are very keen to work with us on.

“As well as working with LTFC, the Bedford Hospital Resuscitation training team are providing a public paediatric basic life support session in April. They are also working with Bedford Parkrun team to finalise a date for CPR and AED training at one of the parkrun events in order to spread the word.”