Another Life Saved

How one of our course participants saved a stranger’s life

We recently received this message from Mark’s wife telling how he had used what he had learnt on one of our courses to save someone’s life. Here’s what happened, in her own words:
“Hi. I wanted to tell you about our situation at the weekend and how what was learnt on your course helped to save a life. We were in London staying at a hotel and a lady in the restaurant suddenly started to choke on her food. Her family and the staff were trying, unsuccessfully, to remove it but to no avail.
My husband, Mark, who came on your course stepped in and did the Heimlich Manoeuvre (abdominal thrusts) as taught by your trainers and, to everyone’s relief, it came out.
The lady was in a lot of pain with possible broken ribs but she and her family were overwhelmed by what Mark had done. An ambulance was called because of the pain and they also thanked Mark for what he did in saving her life.
The lady was released from hospital the following morning allowing her to attend her daughter’s wedding. What would have happened if Mark hadn’t stepped in is unthinkable.
Thank you so much for your training. We will be back on a refresher when covid allows but, just so you know, we wanted to share this positive story.”
This is the second life saved, as far as we know, by someone who has trained with us – click this link for details:


No-one wants to be at scenes such as these but, as we all know, such events can happen to anyone at any time. That’s why CPR Counts was formed – to train members of the public to be that essential first link in the chain of survival.
Naturally, we all think about the victim in a crisis like this but spare a thought for the rescuer. In both of the above cases the person saving the life was emotionally affected by what they had done, Mark particularly. Happily he has now had time to digest the enormity of what he did and should very proud of his achievement.
A Reminder of the Procedure to use in a Choking Situation
(taken from

Foreign body airway obstruction

  • Suspect choking if someone is suddenly unable to speak or talk, particularly if eating.
  • Encourage the person to cough.
  • If the cough becomes ineffective, give up to 5 back blows:
    • Lean the person forward.
    • Apply blows between the shoulder blades using the heel of one hand.
  • If back blows are ineffective, give up to 5 abdominal thrusts:
    • Stand behind the person and put both your arms around the upper part of their abdomen.
    • Lean the person forwards.
    • Clench your fist and place it between the umbilicus (navel) and the ribcage.
    • Grasp your fist with the other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
  • If choking has not been relieved after 5 abdominal thrusts, continue alternating 5 back blows with 5 abdominal thrusts until it is relieved, or the person becomes unresponsive.
  • If the person becomes unresponsive, start CPR.

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