A Cwm Taf nurse held an emotional reunion with a grandmother whose life she saved while on a shopping trip.
Nurse Trudy Jones, from Porth, in Rhondda, acted quickly when she saw an elderly woman had collapsed in the street in Bristol.
The nurse specialist with Cwm Taf University Health Board performed crucial CPR on the pensioner until paramedics could transport her to hospital by ambulance.
Margaret Vine, 73, from Skewen, near Neath, spent almost a month seriously ill in hospital after suffering a heart attack.
She spent time on a ventilator and also underwent emergency heart surgery in the hospital in Bristol. Her doctors told the family later that Trudy’s intervention had saved her life.
More than three months after her ordeal, Margaret had recovered sufficiently to meet Trudy for a special lunch in Treorchy, when her family and friends joined in a heartfelt thank you.
She said: “I can’t remember anything about that day only what my friends told me, that Trudy never gave up she kept on working on me till the ambulance came.
“So it was lovely to meet her in person to thank her for all she did because I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her.”
Her daughter Amanda Thomas said: “My mother is doing really well now. We were really worried for her because she had a massive heart attack and paramedics had to shock her three times on the way to hospital.
“If Trudy had not been there to give her CPR, doctors told us she wouldn’t have had a chance.”
Her mother had been able spend Christmas with her family after being released from hospital in Bristol but still has to attend her local hospital for treatment, she said.
Amanda said that the family now regarded Trudy as a friend after meeting up for the first time.
“I feel she is a friend for life because she is such a warm person. My mother said she couldn’t thank her enough. There weren’t enough words to say thank you.”
Although it had been an emotional occasion, they had spent the afternoon talking and laughing, she said.
Trudy was also delighted to have finally met Margaret, her family and friends.
“It was lovely to meet them and to see Margaret on the road to recovery. Thanks to Amanda Thomas for this afternoon, it really was special,” she said
The nurse, who is a nurse specialist working in safeguarding children, said that instinct had kicked in on that day and she had acted on adrenalin.
She had been on a pre-Christmas shopping trip to Bristol with friends and by chance her bus had been parked near where Margaret had collapsed.
Lesley Lewis Head of Nursing Localities said: “Trudy is a valued member of our nursing team who always tries her best to help people often in difficult circumstances. Trudy’s instincts are always to help and focus on doing the right thing. The team are really proud of Trudy and her swift actions.”