Tom wins Royal Lifesaving Society Bravery Award

A refresher course in CPR was credited with helping physiotherapist Tom Pawikowski keep his cool while helping a friend who had suffered a heart attack – an act which has earned him a Gold Medallion Bravery Award from the Royal Lifesaving Society of WA.

St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital physiotherapist Tom Pawikowski 

9 October 2018 

Tom – an avid cyclist – was on a bike ride with other bike riders, when they stopped for a friend who had a flat tyre. While waiting for him to fix his bike, another cyclist fell to the ground. 

“At first we all thought he was having a bit of a joke,” Tom said. 

“We quickly realised something was very wrong.  

“I had recently been encouraged by one of our clinical nurse educators at our hospital to complete a refresher course in CPR, and commenced compressions. 

“We worked as a group, with some of us swapping out and taking over compressions while others called for an ambulance and also phoned his family. 

“It was an incredibly surreal situation, and I am just glad I had refreshed my training. I think we all assume in situations like these that there will always be someone better trained or qualified, and I am so glad it was still fresh in my mind.

 “I encourage people to take the time to do these courses, you never know when it could help save a life.”

 Tom’s friend was soon taken away by ambulance and recovered in hospital.  He now has a stent in and was told how lucky he was to survive the incident. 

“I am amazed he recovered fully, as it felt like such a long time that we worked on him.  It is something that will always stay with me.”


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