Lake District volunteer saved the life of sports coach at Paralympic Games (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Lake District volunteer saved the life of sports coach at Paralympic Games
A NORDIC ski instructor from Grange-over-Sands was able to draw on 15 years’ experience as a Lakeland rescue volunteer when he saved the life of an Arab coach at the Paralympic Games.
Martin Campbell, 57, of Heads Drive, was one of the 70,000 ‘gamesmaker’ volunteers who have been credited with making the summer of sport such a success.
As a former member of Kendal’s mountain rescue team, Mr Campbell was selected as a first responder in the medical team to help spectators in the aquatics centre during the Olympics and residents of the athletes’ village during the Paralympics.
And his skills were put to the test when he and a colleague were called to help after a woman collapsed and was not breathing in the accommodation block.
The rescue was complicated by the fact she was having a seizure and her mouth had clamped shut, making it difficult to establish an airway.
Mr Campbell, who is also a mountain walking leader, said: “We got to her relatively quickly; an ambulance was called straight away but we were with her before paramedics arrived for about five minutes.
“When I tried to get her airway open I found her jaw just wouldn’t move. After some effort I was able to get the end of a mouthpiece between her teeth.
“I was breathing for her and eventually she coughed and spluttered, but then stopped breathing again. The seizure also prevented us doing chest compressions so I just kept breathing for her.”
After a night in hospital the patient made a full recovery and was soon back in the village supporting her country’s athletes.
Mr Campbell said he believes their quick actions saved the coach’s life.
“We brought her back really; I think a few more minutes would have done it. Background training just kicks in, you don’t necessarily analyse it at the time but you just react to what you see.”
In recognition of his efforts, Mr Campbell was nominated for a golden gamesmaker award, which gave him a seat at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and lunch with Eva Loeffler, mayor of the athletes’ village and daughter of the founder of the Paralympic Games, Sir Ludwig Guttman.
And aside from the dramas, Mr Campbell said he had a fantastic time in London.
“Volunteering in the aquatics centre, the main issue was with people suffering from Vertigo because the seating was so steep,” he said. “But the highlights were seeing athletes like Tom Daley, Michael Phelps and Rebecca Adlington competing.
“The whole thing was a fantastic experience, very much a one-off.
“I’m still on a bit of a high with it. My family was delighted I was invited to take part and quite proud of what I have done.”