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.
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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