Wedding gift saved the life of cyclist in Lythe

Peter Boyle
Peter Boyle

When 30-year-old Paul Bailey started his shift at The Stiddy pub in Lythe in May, the last thing he expected was to save the life of a cyclist using a wedding gift.

The Stiddy is owned by David and Wendy Humphreys and three and a half years ago, they watched a television programme about life-saving defibrillators being installed in rural areas.

Julie Boyle

Julie Boyle

David said: “We were watching this programme on ITV about these defibrillators being funded in areas across the UK. As Wendy and I were due to get married, we decided to ask our guests to contribute towards a defibrillator being installed at our pub in Lythe, as it’s in a pretty remote part of the country. We paid the difference and sure enough, the defibrillator was installed and has sat proudly on the front of the pub ever since.”

On May 28, Peter Boyle, 67, (pictured,) and his wife, Julie, 60 from Ripon decided to go on a bike ride. Julie Boyle said: “We were out cycling and I arrived at the area on the opposite side of the road to The Stiddy just before Peter and then turned to see him draw up, dismount and place his bike against our car which was parked there. He then sunk slowly to his knees, saying ‘something is not right’. He had laboured breathing. I noticed that his eyes looked strange so I put Peter into the recovery position and checked his pulse and breathing.

“When his breathing stopped and there was no pulse I went straight into CPR.”

Julie then called out to three people and told them to phone 999 and to bring the defibrillator from the front of The Stiddy pub. Local man, Paul Bailey an employee at The Stiddy came out, obtained the code by calling 999 and opened the defibrillator. Paul and Julie worked together and performed two shocks.

This was successful and Peter had a pulse and was breathing.

This was the first time The Stiddy’s defibrillator had to be deployed. After calling 999, it took just eight minutes for the paramedics to arrive and take over life-saving treatment.

Peter said: “I have no recollection whatsoever unfortunately of anything from the 28 May when the event took place, either of driving over to the coast or of subsequent events.

“I am so glad that the defibrillator was there and that I had the assistance that I did from my wife and others. I am deeply grateful to David Humphreys and to Paul for having the machine available for use.”

Although defibrillators are a potentially life-saving resource, they can only be used by calling 999 in a medical emergency and on instruction from the ambulance call centre. The devices provide clear step-by- step instructions.

Dr Charles Parker, Clinical Chair of NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG said: “Access to defibrillators across Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby areas has increased significantly over the last two years thanks to community funding, support from the CCG and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

“In this case, it was the generous spirit of Wendy and David Humphreys and the quick thinking of their staff and others together with Mrs Boyle which has saved a life. Although the paramedics arrived very quickly, I have no doubt that the use of the defibrillator contributed significantly in saving Peter’s life.

“If you come across someone who has had a cardiac arrest, it’s vital to call 999 straight away. If the patient is still not breathing normally, coughing or moving, begin chest compressions (CPR). The 999 telephonist will support you with delivering CPR and also advise on the availability of the nearest defibrillator and the access code to the housing cabinet.”

David Humphreys said: “Every village should have a defibrillator. Without ours and the quick-thinking of Paul, Julie and others, Peter may not have survived. We’re so glad to hear that he is now back from hospital and wish him well for the future.”

Peter is now recovering well at home. Residents who are interested in having a defibrillator installed can contact the CCG on (01609) 767600 or email: hrwccg.hrwccgenquiries@nhs.net.