Southwick father thanks daughter and crew for life-saving actions

Des and Jade Crockford meet ambulance staff
Des and Jade Crockford meet ambulance staff

Ambulance staff have praised the quick-thinking of two daughters, who helped save their father’s life when he suffered a cardiac arrest at their Southwick home.

Jade Crockford, a medical sciences student, performed CPR on her father, Des, when he collapsed last year, until a crew from South East Coast Ambulance Service arrived.

It’s a debt I’ll never be able to repay

Des Crockford on his daughter’s actions

They recently had the chance to meet some of the crew, ambulance technician Colin Fox and critical care paramedic Richard Crabb and show their gratitude.

“I’m really pleased we have been able to say thank you in person,” said Des, a civil servant.

He said of his daughter’s actions: “I can’t imagine what Jade was thinking having to do CPR on me.

“It’s a debt I’ll never be able to repay.”

Jade and her sister Georgia, 18, had been woken by their dog, Brooke, who was restless, in the early hours of Monday, May 30, last year.

It was while they dealt with the pet that they discovered their father in his bed making strange noises, unconscious and not breathing.

Responding fast, the pair dialled 999 and followed the instructions provided by the Emergency Medical Advisor.

Jade, an Exeter University student who is currently on placement at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, began chest compressions.

The 21-year-old, who now hopes to specialise in cardiology, said: “I’ve been trained in CPR but obviously it was difficult and very different having to perform it on a member of your own family.”

Colin Fox and crew mate Charles Garnham arrived and, continuing Jade’s efforts, were able to restart Des’s heart by delivering a shock with a defibrillator.

Colin said: “Jade’s actions were vital as they ensured we had a chance of saving her dad.”

With Des’s room located in a loft with steep stairs, the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called to help lift him out of the window, while still lying flat in order to not impact on his fluctuating blood pressure.

At Royal Sussex County Hospital he was fitted with an internal defibrillator and, after weeks of rehab and three months off work, he was back to work and to his hobby, cycling.

“My recovery has gone very well,” said Des.

While the experience was ‘emotionally hard’, he said: “We’ve faced it all as a family and we’re looking forward to going away on holiday soon.”

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