Off duty nurse saves a man's life by performing CPR

The patient's son Mateusz, Mateusz’s wife Monika, and their daughter Emilia, presented Claire with flowers to say thank you.

The patient's son Mateusz, Mateusz’s wife Monika, and their daughter Emilia, presented Claire with flowers to say thank you. - Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

An off-duty cardiology nurse from Royal Papworth Hospital has helped save a man's life by performing CPR when he collapsed while shopping in St Ives.

Miroslaw Dziadosz, 54, had a cardiac arrest shortly after leaving a shop in the town on his bicycle on June 21.

Two off-duty police officers were first on the scene before Claire Chapman, a deputy sister in cardiology, arrived and immediately began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Mr Dziadosz was not breathing for eight minutes before regaining consciousness.

The East of England Ambulance Service then drove the patient to Royal Papworth for emergency insertion of stents to unblock his arteries.

Claire said: “I had just been shopping for tea that night and saw a big gathering of people as I left the store.” 

“I went over and saw that someone had collapsed, checked his pulse, which wasn’t there, and saw that all the colour was drained from his face.

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“Instinct kicked in, and I went into auto pilot, performing CPR in rotation with a couple of other people, and we managed to get Mr Dziadosz breathing again.”

When she returned to work the following day, fresh from her heroics, she was reunited with Miroslaw and his family on the ward as he began his recovery.

Claire said: “His son, daughter-in-law and their one-year-old baby were on the ward visiting, and they spotted me and ran straight over to say 'thank you'. It was a lovely moment, almost overwhelmingly emotional.

“I have never had to do anything like this before. You hope to never use your CPR skills, but it is so important we are all trained in case this happens. I am just glad I was there at the right time.”

Son Mateusz, Mateusz’s wife Monika and their daughter, Emilia, who live in Chatteris, presented Claire with gifts, including flowers, to say thank you.

Mateusz said: “We are so grateful. If it wasn’t for Claire and everyone else who helped that night, my dad would not be here, and Emilia would not have a grandad to watch her grow up.”

In the UK, there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) a year where emergency medical services attempt to resuscitate the patient.

However, the survival rate is low – just one in 10 people in the UK survive an OHCA. Early CPR and defibrillation can double the chances of survival.