Corby life-saver Ashleigh given Humane Award

Ashleigh Smith
Ashleigh Smith

A Corby security guard has been recognised for helping to save a man’s life with her first aid skills.

Ashleigh Smith, who works at Asda in Phoenix Parkway, was presented with the Resuscitation Certificate from the Royal Humane Society, in store.

Ashleigh holds her award with customer trading manager Kevin North

Ashleigh holds her award with customer trading manager Kevin North

Recognition for her life-saving action came when Ashleigh, a security section leader, had to twice use a defibrillator on John Roe to get his heart re-started.

John, who is in his 60s, was driving with his wife on a road just behind the store’s car park when he went into a cardiac arrest.

An off-duty nurse who fortunately happened to be driving behind saw what had happened, assessed the situation and began to perform CPR on him.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ashleigh said: “The 999 control room said the nearest defibrillator was at our store so a passer-by ran there.

Ashleigh with the Asda defibrillator

Ashleigh with the Asda defibrillator

“Luckily I was on duty and so grabbed the defibrillator and ran to where John was.

“I took one look at him and I thought I was too late to be honest with you.

“I’d never been so scared in my whole life.”

Ashleigh – a trained first-aider – attached the defibrillator pads on John and, following instructions given out by the machine, shocked him twice.

She said: “We thought we had lost him, but when the paramedics arrived they said he had a rhythm. It was such a relief.”

John has made a good recovery from his ordeal and came in to the store to thank Ashleigh.

Ashleigh added: “I usually have quite a lot to say to people, but on that occasion I was actually speechless.

“He said to me: ‘The last time you saw me I was dead’.’

Ashleigh, whose mum is a nurse, said she was extremely honoured to receive the award.

The citation read: “...the humanity, prompitude and skill of Ashleigh Smith is recognised by the award of the Resuscitation Certificate of The Society for assisting in restoring a man to life.”

Ashleigh’s manager Jonny Taylor said the whole store was extremely proud of her.

He said: “It is always great to learn that one of our colleagues has gone above and beyond.

“In what was extremely difficult circumstances Ashleigh took everything on board and didn’t falter.

“We are all proud of her for receiving her award.”

The Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate is awarded to people who have effected a successful resuscitation of someone, who was at one stage ‘seemingly dead’, through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (MMR) and/or heart-and-lung massage (CPR).

This award is not given to medically trained medical staff or in cases where resuscitation fails.

The Royal Humane Society is a charity that grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and also for the restoration of life by resuscitation.

Since its foundation in London in 1774, the Royal Humane Society committee has reviewed more than 88,000 cases and made well over 200,000 awards.