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Award for nurse's off duty life saving

A critical care nurse from West Suffolk Hospital has been recognised with an award for her quick-thinking and life-saving actions while off duty.

Debbie Lavender, from Woodbridge, was out for dinner with her partner when Will Fiske, another patron of the Maybush pub in Waldringfield, suffered a cardiac arrest.

With the help of other bystanders in the pub Debbie performed CPR and used a defibrillator, successfully regaining Will’s pulse before the ambulance service arrived on scene.

An East Anglian Air Ambulance team of Dr Natalie Lonsdale, critical care paramedic Luke Chamberlain and pilots Matthew Sandbach and Dan Mansell were tasked to the scene to provide advanced life support, before accompanying Will by land ambulance to Ipswich Hospital for further tests.

Mr Fiske, 30, had no previous health concerns, and thanks to Debbie’s quick actions, is today well on the road to recovery.

Debbie's actions have now been recognised by the Royal Humane Society with a Resuscitation Certificate for 'restoring a man to life', after being nominated by the air ambulance's aftercare team.

She was presented with her award by Dr Lonsdale, with Mr Fiske and his family also attending the presentation to say thank you.

Dr Lonsdale said: "For Debbie to successfully perform CPR, use the defibrillator and get Will’s pulse back before the emergency services arrived was a huge thing to do and really did help to save Will’s life. Working with patients in Will’s situation, I know just how much of a difference that immediate CPR and shock from a defibrillator can make to a positive outcome.

"To be able to meet both Debbie and Will, almost a year later, was incredible and I’m really pleased that Debbie’s bravery and quick thinking has been recognised in this award.”

Debbie said: "To be nominated and to receive a Royal Humane Society award really is incredible. Meeting Will and his family, Natalie and the EAAA team, nearly a year later, was so special and a day I will never forget. The positive outcome of this story really does highlight the importance of early CPR and defibrillation and how this can help to save a life.

"Thank you to Dr Lonsdale and the EAAA team for the award nomination, for bringing us together, and for the amazing pre-hospital care you provide daily."

Debbie became a nurse in the critical care unit after witnessing the care her nan received while in hospital a few years ago. After graduating with a degree in psychology, she trained to become a nurse after seeing what a "rewarding" job it could be.

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Will Fiske is reunited with the Debbie Lavender, who helped save his life

Will Fiske is reunited with the Debbie Lavender, who helped save his life