Kettering pupil saves life of five-a-side footballer

Wayne Southern, 40 and  Rasa Ronkaityte, 17
Wayne Southern, 40 and Rasa Ronkaityte, 17
  • Man suffered heart attack in sports hall
  • Student carried out CPR until paramedics arrived
  • Patient now wants to provide school with defibrilator

The quick reactions of a sixth form pupil at Kettering Science Academy helped save a man’s life.

Rasa Ronkaityte, 17, who also works in the evenings as part of the academy’s community lettings team, used her first-aid knowledge and saved the life of Wayne Southern, who was playing football at the academy’s community facilities.

Kettering Science Academy student Rasa Ronkaityte saved Wayne Southern's life when he collapsed during a five-a-side football match

Kettering Science Academy student Rasa Ronkaityte saved Wayne Southern's life when he collapsed during a five-a-side football match

Mr Southern and his colleagues from 1st Reaction Security were playing football in the sports hall when he collapsed after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest and the alarm was raised.

Rasa was one of the first people on the scene and after carrying out the initial checks of Mr Southern’s pulse and airways she started to perform emergency CPR on him as he lay unconscious in the sports hall.

Rasa, who was first aid trained last year as part of her training to be a sports assistant with the community lettings team, wasted no time in helping him.

The paramedics, who were on the scene within 20 minutes, praised her fast response and said that her actions had helped to save Mr Southern’s life.

I was thinking about his family and keeping him alive for them.

Rasa Ronkaityte

Rasa said: “I still cannot believe it all happened on that Monday. I just knew at the time I had to help him.

“I was thinking about his family and keeping him alive for them.

“It was emotional, I was crying but I kept the chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth going, until he regained consciousness.”

The manager of the academy’s community lettings, Alex Riches, who took over from Rasa doing the CPR, said: “The paramedics praised Rasa’s quick response and said she had saved Mr Southern’s life.

“Rasa was definitely the hero of the hour with her speedy reactions to the situation.”

Mr Riches added: “Before the end of our shift we had a call updating us on Mr Southern’s condition and he was conscious and speaking with doctors.”

Following her heroics, Mr Southern’s family emailed Rasa and Mr Southern has since made a visit to the school to thank her in person.

Mr Southern, who is the managing director of 1st Reaction Security, said: “I really wanted to thank her face to face for doing what she did for me.

“It was fantastic she acted so fast and at such a young age.

“It is all down to Rasa that I survived and I am here today.”

Mr Southern is now looking to sponsor the charity Hand on Heart, through his security firm, to provide a defibrillator for the academy.

The charity’s gold package that comes with the lifesaving device will include essential training for members of staff and students.

Kettering Science Academy is also going to acknowledge Rasa’s lifesaving actions by presenting her with a special recognition award.

Principal Paul Davies said: “We are all delighted to hear that Mr Southern is making a good recovery,”

He added that he is “continually amazed by the actions of students at KSA.

“Rasa’s quick thinking and bravery is truly remarkable and we are all very proud of her at KSA.

“She is a credit to the academy and her parents.”

KSA, which is part of the Brooke Weston Trust, lets a range of facilities to the community including Astroturf pitches, grass pitches, netball and tennis courts.