Two quick-thinking Asda colleagues saved the life of a regular customer in Dyce when he suffered a heart attack in their store.
George Gibson, who used to work in the same supermarket, had nipped to the store to buy bread and milk when he started to feel unwell and complain of chest pains.
The store’s first-aiders, Grace Mugglestone and Robyn Gauld, sprang into action and gave the 81-year-old CPR – ultimately saving his life.
Mr Gibson’s daughter, Caroline Mutch, paid an emotional visit to the store to thank them both in person.
“My dad, our family and I can’t thank these two ladies enough. They are a credit to Asda,” she said.
@asda these 2 young ladies are a credit to your Dyce, Aberdeen store. My dad collapsed in the store on Tuesday and they performed CPR and saved his life. Their names are Robyn and Grace. My dads recovering well in hospital. pic.twitter.com/AKwpAVUQp9
— Caroline Mutch (@CarolineMutch) May 13, 2022
“Doctors are unclear whether his heart totally stopped or it just went very slow. They are classing it as a heart attack as he’s had issues with his heart since about March.
“The doctor at the hospital said their quick actions definitely saved him. If he’d been home alone he probably wouldn’t have survived.
“As a nurse myself I’ve been involved in a lot of CPR many times I know that they did really well. I just wanted to pop in and thank them in person.”
Mr Gibson, who previously worked at the Dyce store himself as a delivery driver, is now recovering well in hospital.
‘First-aid training paid off’
Miss Mugglestone, a section leader, said she knew “from the get-go” that something was going on.
“On the day, a call was put out for a first aider and they also rang my phone as well so that’s how I knew it was serious,” the 27-year-old said.
“A customer had alerted the customer service desk to say a gentleman had collapsed and was pointing to his chest. I grabbed a defibrillator and the customer who had alerted us called 999.
“George was conscious, but was struggling to breathe and finding it difficult to speak to us. With the help of Robyn and the customer we got George into a position where we could administer first aid to him properly.
“He wasn’t breathing so I did three compressions to his chest and he started to gasp. His eyes were open but it was still unresponsive.”
‘It was so emotional’
The duo had to cut away Mr Gibson’s clothes but said they were relieved when advised not to shock him with the defibrillator. They stayed by his side talking to him until the paramedics arrived.
“It was scary as when you are trained to be a first aider that is the call you dread the most,” Miss Mugglestone continued.
“Thank God the first aid training paid off as the chest compressions were what saved his life. I’m so glad that Robyn was there to support me through it.
“It is unbelievable and surreal. There was a time when we didn’t know he was going to make it or not, so it was such a relief to find out that he’s doing well.
“It will be so nice to see him when he comes back in the store.”
Miss Gauld, the store’s chilled section leader, said it was an experience she would never forget – and she is very grateful to have her first-aid training.
“I helped Grace get George on to his back but his whole face was grey and blue. When Grace did the compressions and he started to breathe it was such a relief. It was terrifying. Instinct and adrenalin kicked in,” the 27-year-old added.
“Every time we came into work we asked if there was any update and there hadn’t been so it was lovely to see his daughter. It was so emotional.”
Recognised for brave actions
The pair have now been nominated for the Asda service superstar awards for their quick-thinking actions.
Debbie White, operations manager, said: “What they did was phenomenal; absolutely amazing. It was really brave of them as, although they are both first aiders, they have never had to deal with a situation like that before.
“If they hadn’t done what they did he probably would have died. They were a bit taken aback when it was all over as it was so nerve-wracking.”