Quick-thinking porter uses CPR skills to save colleague’s life

“If somebody saves your life, there’s no way you can ever say thank you enough.” Those are the words of Royal Hampshire County Hospital porter John Bauldry, who owes his life to quick-thinking colleague Daniel Spacagna.

Friday 20 October 2017


CPR Porter (1)

Daniel Spacagna and John Bauldry outside Royal Hampshire County Hospital


John was just about to start a shift moving patients and vital equipment around the hospital when, without any warning, he suffered a cardiac arrest in the portering team’s staff room.

On seeing his friend collapsed on the floor, Daniel immediately took control of the situation, instructing another of his colleagues to put in an emergency call before tending to John.

“When I put my ear to his face, I could tell he had stopped breathing,” Daniel explained. “I realised he must have had a cardiac arrest and started performing CPR.

“The adrenaline just kicked in. John is a friend as well as a colleague and I was determined to keep going because I didn’t want it ending the other way. I just did what I needed to do and the doctors said I had kept up a good rhythm.”

Daniel’s quick thinking kept John alive during the time it took for the emergency medical team to arrive on the scene, with other porters also playing their part by holding doors open and directing the specialists to them.

A defibrillator was used to restart John’s heart and he was treated in the emergency department and intensive care unit at Winchester hospital before being transferred to the specialist coronary care unit at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, where a device was fitted to prevent the same thing happening again.

The 60-year-old spent eight days on the unit before being allowed to return to his home in Hamble and he returned to work at the end of September, just two months after his near-death experience.

“I’m not one for sitting around so I could not wait to get back to work and it’s going really well,” he said. “All of us porters are a bit like a family, but there is certainly a special bond between Daniel and me now.

“If he had not been there, it would have been a very different story, so I was very lucky that he was around on that night. I’m incredibly grateful to him and I know that my family are as well.”

Daniel, who is 35 and lives in Eastleigh, added: “When I think about what I was able to do for John, it really makes me proud. We come to work to make a difference and care for patients and I really did make a difference that day.

“I’ve done quite a few first aid courses, but fortunately I’d been on one through work about four weeks before the incident, so it was really fresh in my mind. It just shows how important doing first aid courses can be. You never know when you are going to need to use the skills you learn on them.”


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