I saved Angelene's life but it was just instinct
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Angelene Gray with Jim Walls.
Picture: Jan van der Merwe
A TULLIBODY man who was given an award for helping bring a woman back to life said his actions were "just instinct".
Angelene Gray (30) collapsed on Menstrie Road after suffering a cardiac arrest.
She was likened to footballer Fabrice Muamba whose heart stopped for 78 minutes.
By chance Jim Walls, who received basic first aid training through his work, happened to be on scene.
He was in his car, stuck behind three others, when he saw the mum lying on the ground.
Jim said, "I looked across and saw a golf brolly lying on the other side of the road.
"Angelene was just lying staring at the sky with this blank expression."
He, alongside Thomas McLaren (54), also of Tullibody, carried out CPR until ambulance crews arrived. After they brought her back she was taken to Larbert Hospital.
Angelene, of the Muirs, has little recollection of the day itself.
It began as normal when she dropped her little boy at school and went to work at Ladywell Nursery, before beginning the walk home.
She said, "I don't even remember feeling unwell or feeling any pain. I don't remember anything.
"I remember waking up in Larbert and thinking 'god, why am I here?'"
She was then moved to the Golden Jubilee Hospital - coincidentally where Jim works as a maintenance technician.
He visited her during his shift and the pair have been friends ever since.
Jim (50) said, "She obviously didn't know me from Adam but was quite emotional."
On the way out of the door he bumped into her fiance William Chambers (34) and son Harvey (4) and reality struck.
He said, "That's when it really hit home when I saw the wee boy. I could've met him at a funeral.
"We have been texting every day since and I think we will just be friends for life now."
To thank Jim, Angelene nominated him for the hospital's special recognition award.
Jim, of Lethen View, said he was "chuffed to bits" but had just wanted to help. He said, "I think it was just instinct. I don't know what kicked in, I just thought I could help in some way."
Angelene is grateful to all the help she received and said, "I just feel lucky that it worked out the way it did and I'm just thankful to everyone who helped that day.
"I think both Jim and Thomas had done first aid through their work and I just think everybody should do first aid."
Jill Young, Chief Executive of the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, said, "Jim's CPR training at the Golden Jubilee was delivered to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. We are delighted that he was able to put his CPR skills to use, going to help a complete stranger who had collapsed in the street.
"The clinical team who looked after Angelene believe that his quick actions saved her life and that is something that deserves to be recognised. Jim is a hero to Angelene and her family and we were delighted to present him with this special recognition certificate in our 10th anniversary year."
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 31 Oct 12
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