On Friday afternoon a gentleman, later identified as Atamjit Singh Pal, collapsed in Wraysbury High Street, just by the pharmacy. His wife rushed into the pharmacy to seek assistance and the staff there responded immediately and rushed to his assistance. Julie who is the pharmacist and herself a trainer in CPR took charge and ascertained quickly that he was not breathing and had no pulse, she started CPR and summoned the defibrillator from the post office (Aran very generously holds one here on behalf of the 250 Club, who purchased four for the Village 3 years ago, for just such an eventuality).
Julie and Karen continued to give CPR and also deployed the defibrillator, whilst they waited for the paramedics, who arrived within 8 minutes, who in turn summoned the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Carol meanwhile supported and comforted his wife in the pharmacy.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the gentleman and his family, for whom this was obviously a very distressing tragic situation.
Several Wraysbury residents gave assistance at the scene, for which we thank them.
The pharmacy team were amazing, they are a huge asset to our community. This is the fourth time they have acted in emergencies in the last few years, and I am immensely proud of them. I would like to thank and echo the sentiment of the young lady who witnessed the event and brought flowers for the staff on Friday after the incident, she was very emotional and and wished to thank them for their brave and difficult intervention. This is all above and beyond their role as pharmacy staff. I myself was not present in the pharmacy at the start of the situation, and only arrived as the helicopter roared away overhead. The pharmacy staff have been given support and offered stress counselling if required, should anyone else feel they need some support, for this or any other stressful situation in life, they are most welcome to talk to us at the pharmacy or we would strongly recommend our local specialist counsellor, Ruth Fogg at Stressworx.
We are lucky to have five defibrillators in the village at The Village Hall, The Perseverance pub, and The George Pub, and a mobile one carried by the Flood Team in addition to the one used this time from The Post Office, they are easy to use, but we should all try to get training if we have the opportunity, if only to give us the confidence to act when faced with a situation. – Speaking of which, Vicki Schofield is doing training for “Mini-medics” on 20th Feb, see https://w3b.co/pwm, we are hoping the First Responders will organise some more training in the village soon for those over 13!… watch this space. This is a truly tragic event, and the best way for us all to respond, is to try and ensure as a community we minimise the chance of this happening again, or endeavour collectively to do whatever we can to maximise the chances of survival of the next patient.
The Thames Valley Air Ambulance that was summonsed is a charity, and it costs in excess of £3000 on average each time it is called, I think it would also be very appropriate for us as a community to try and raise some funds for them – There is a collection box in the pharmacy.
Written by Simon Carter who is owner of Wraysbury Village Pharmacy.