Heart attack victim says thanks to pair who saved her life

Graham Sneddon and James Queen have been nominated for a police award.
Graham Sneddon and James Queen have been nominated for a police award.
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Yvonne Kenny from Brightons lay dead in her local shop after suffering a massive heart attack, but a twist of fate means she is still alive thanks to two heroes who stepped in.

Retired prison manager Graham Sneddon (46) and telesales advisor James Queen (52) teamed up to give Yvonne CPR - cardiopulmonary resuscitation - which brought her back to life.

If she hadn’t needed lightbulbs and the two men hadn’t been at the Spar shop at Brightons Cross at the same time, Yvonne would have surely died.

Doctors and paramedics who treated the 52-year-old said their actions had been vital in keeping her alive.

Luckily for Yvonne, father-of-three Graham is trained in life-saving and is no stranger to this type of danger.

He entered the shop shortly after Yvonne collapsed and, acting on instinct, immediately started administering CPR to try to revive her.

James rushed into the shop after his wife Val ran out to fetch him as he sat in their car as the drama unfolded.

Graham, a retired prison manager who was given a meritorious award after disarming a prisoner with a knife who had set himself on fire, said: “She is lucky to be alive I think. She was a goner.

“If there hadn’t been someone around who knew CPR then she would have been dead.

“I’ve unfortunately had to use it on more than one occasion. But it means I’m not a panicker.

“She was blue and her eyes had rolled back and I knew she was dead, I’ve seen it before. But I knew there was still a chance and started to give chest compressions.

“I got her breathing again and James came in and took over the chest compressions while I gave her mouth to mouth. I’m really happy she has pulled through.”

Despite not being trained in first aid, James, a father-of-two, responded like a seasoned professional.

He said: “Val came running out of the shop. I thought she just needed more money, but she was anxious and telling me someone needed help.

“When I got there she was pretty gone, so I just did what I could. I kept pressing, but every time I stopped pushing she stopped breathing so I had to keep going. The emergency operator was telling me to do it 900 times while we waited on the ambulance coming. It was quite surreal.”

Both men have been nominated for a meritorious award by Central Scotland Police following a report on the incident by two local officers.

Sgt Kerri Marshall said: “It was clearly the actions of these two members of the public, carrying out CPR, that has helped save the life of Yvonne Kenny.”

Ms Kenny, a support worker who is now recovering after having an operation to fit a stent and a month of hospital treatment, also thanked her heroes.

She said: “My family and myself are so grateful to Graham and James and I’d like them to know how much I appreciate what they did for me.

“It really is a twist of fate that I’m alive and I’m getting there slowly but surely thanks to those guys. I want to thank them very much.”