Wedding gift saves life of cyclist

Peter Boyle had his life saved by a defibrillator at a pub near Whitby that was bought as a wedding gift for the pub's owner Credit: NHS HAMBLETON, RICHMONDSHIRE AND WHITBY CCG

When 30 year old Paul Bailey started his shift at The Stiddy, a pub in Lythe near Whitby on 28 May – the last thing he expected was to save the life of a cyclist using a wedding gift.

The Stiddy is owned by David and Wendy Humphreys.

Three and a half years ago, they watched a television programme on ITV about life-saving defibrillators being installed in rural areas.

“We were watching this programme on ITV about these defibrillators being funded in areas across the UK. As Wendy and I were due to get married, we decided to ask our guests to contribute towards a defibrillator being installed at our pub in Lythe, Whitby as it’s in a pretty remote part of the country. We paid the difference and sure enough, the defibrillator was installed and has sat proudly on the front of the pub ever since.” said David Humphreys.

On 28 May, Peter Boyle, 67 and his wife, Julie, 60 from Ripon decided to go on a bike ride.

Julie Boyle said: “We were out cycling and I arrived at the area on the opposite side of the road to The Stiddy just before Peter and then turned to see him draw up, dismount and place his bike against our car which was parked there. He then sunk slowly to his knees, saying “something is not right”. He had laboured breathing. I noticed that his eyes looked strange so I put Peter into the recovery position and checked his pulse and breathing. When his breathing stopped and there was no pulse I went straight into CPR.”

Julie then called out to three people and told them to phone 999 and to bring the defibrillator from the front of The Stiddy pub.

Local man, Paul Bailey and employee at The Stiddy came out, obtained the code from calling 999 and opened up the defibrillator.

Paul and Julie worked together and after connecting the machine it gave the necessary instructions and two “shocks”.

This was successful and Peter had a pulse and was breathing. By this stage a retained fireman had come over from the station and brought some oxygen which he administered.

This was the first time The Stiddy’s defibrillator had to be deployed. After calling 999, it took just eight minutes for the paramedics to arrive and take over life-saving treatment by Paul from the defibrillator.

Peter was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he was treated for three nights in intensive care and then kept in for a further seven nights.

Now recovering well at home and back to the level of fitness he enjoyed prior to the event, Peter said: “I have no recollection whatsoever unfortunately of anything from the 28 May when the event took place, either of driving over to the coast or of subsequent events.

“I am so glad that the defibrillator was there and that I had the assistance that I did from my wife and others. I am deeply grateful to David Humphreys and to Paul for having the machine available for use.”

What is a defibrillator?

  • A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

  • These can be easily recognised and if needed, used by any member of the public after calling 999, without training, on a person whose heart has stopped.

  • Although defibrillators are a potentially life-saving resource, they can only be used by calling 999 in a medical emergency and on instruction from the ambulance call centre. The devices provide clear step-by-step instructions.