Housing officer saves life of woman who fell down the stairs

Andy Duke saved the life of a  elderly resident who fell down the stairs in the Kilburn block where she lives

Andy Duke saved the life of a elderly resident who fell down the stairs in the Kilburn block where she lives - Credit: C&C

A quick thinking housing officer has been praised for saving the life of a woman who fell down stairs onto her head.

Andy Duke, who works at Vivian Court, in Maida Vale, found one of the sheltered home’s residents unconscious and unresponsive on January 31.

The resident had lost her balance and fallen down five steep steps onto her head, which triggered a cardiac arrest.

Andy, who had received CPR training as part of his training programme at housing association Central and Cecil (C&C), was alerted by a cleaner and began resuscitating the resident.

He said: “I was not optimistic that she would make it. I just kept thinking: 'This is not where your life ends.'

“When I reached the resident, her face had turned purple and was slightly cold to touch. I immediately began performing CPR.

“A contractor working on a nearby flat heard me calling for help and put the emergency services on speakerphone so I could hear their instructions

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"Her breathing was shallow and intermittent between compressions, and she wasn’t breathing at all for some scarily extended periods.”

By the time that paramedics arrived at the scene, Andy had been performing CPR for 14 minutes.

The resident was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where she spent weeks in the major trauma ward before being sent home.

“She is still recovering from the incident but, thankfully, has a care package in place alongside family members to support her,” Andy said.

“I know she feels as though she has been given a second chance. Ultimately, I just did what any caring human being would do, when faced with such a situation.”

Julia Ashley, managing director of C&C, said: “As someone who used to work on the front line for Avon Ambulance Service for two years, I know first-hand how rare it is for someone to recover from cardiac arrest.

"Andy’s CPR must have been outstanding. He will always know that he saved someone’s life and he should be extremely proud of himself.”