Local teacher saved by bystander after cardiac arrest

L-R Medic Euan, Rob, Judy Domoney, Rachael Eckley, Andy, Liza

A teacher whose heart stopped and a bystander who helped medics to save her have joined the appeal for Londoners to ‘step in and be a lifesaver’.

Rachael Eckley suffered a cardiac arrest while meeting a friend for coffee. Judy Domoney, who was in the café at the time, gave chest compressions as medics worked to get Rachael breathing and restart her heart.

Judy, 51, who works from for a construction firm, recalls the shock that set in after Rachael had been taken by ambulance to Harefield Hospital from the Priory Café in Ruislip.

She told HAREFIELD RADIO: “Immediately after Rachael was taken to hospital the enormity of it hit me. It had been years since I had training and I called work that afternoon and said ‘get me on a first aid course’.

Get training. You never know, one day it could be a member of your family. The training gave me confidence and helped me get rid of unhelpful myths like you can hurt someone or damage them. You can’t – you can only help.”

Since the incident in March, doctors have diagnosed Rachael, 46, with a heart condition that will need continuous monitoring.

She knows she is very fortunate that medics arrived within minutes and that Judy felt confident enough to perform chest compressions while the medics were helping her to breathe.

The mum-of-two says that more people should learn how to perform CPR. She told HAREFIELD RADIO: “The longer you leave it to step in when someone is in cardiac arrest, the more detrimental it becomes. Judy gave me a chance.

Only around one or two per cent of people survive a cardiac arrest outside a hospital. Being able to give chest compressions and first aid is vital if we are to try and improve these statistics.”

For more information, visit the British Heart Foundations website by clicking here.

L-R Medic Euan, Rob, Judy Domoney, Rachael Eckley, Andy, Liza