Celebrities and royalty joined forces on Wednesday night to help St John Ambulance celebrate amazing life savers in their annual Everyday Heroes awards.
Presented by Myleene Klass, the winners recognised included a man who saved his fiancee's life when she was struggling to breathe in the middle of the night, an amazing nurse who's rallied to get 120 life-saving defibrillators in her local community and many more incredible people.
And we were delighted to be there to cheer on these inspiring, ordinary people who achieved extraordinary things, along with famous faces including HRH The Countess of Wessex, TV medic Dr Dawn Harper and singer Liz McClaron.
Taking home the Community Hero award was Tracey Garde, a nurse from Bolton who campaigned tirelessly to get defibrillators into her local area.
Chosen from five incredibly worthy nominees, Tracey was awarded for her amazing work in getting 120 defibs into her community, as well as her efforts visiting schools and sports clubs to offer free life-saving training - all outside of her busy day job and her role as chair of the Bolton Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) Support Group.
Tracey said "I’m absolutely amazed and feel honoured to receive this award.
"Getting more AEDs in to community places is vital to help the survival of sudden cardiac arrest victims and having members of the public with the knowledge of basic CPR can only help survival chances.
‘I hope this recognition and my story will inspire others to do the same in their local community."
From the same category, fellow nominee Rik Nicol was given a special commendation for the courage this off-duty policeman showed when he heard a woman screaming that her 11-week old baby was struggling to breathe. Stepping in to save the day, there wasn't a dry eye in the room when Nik was presented with his commendation by the baby's mother Nicola.
One of the most moving moments of the night was the presentation of the Guy Evans Award, chosen not by an expert panel but by a public vote. Guy tragically died aged 17 in circumstances that could have been so different if a first aider had been around.
And presenting the award dedicated to his memory was Guy's mum, Beth Chesney Evans who gave the award to student Bradley Knight who rushed to the scene of a motorcycle accident to help assist a complete stranger.
We all had our heart in our mouths as we heard the story of Richard Tucker, who was awarded Everyday Hero of the Year. In October last year Richard went to bed not knowing that in a few hours he would be helping to save his fiancée’s life.
Woken by strange noises at 3am, Richard realised that his fiancée was struggling to breath in the bed next to him. Panicked, he rushed through to Bridget’s daughter Anna and shouted to her to call 999 immediately before placing fiancée on the floor of their bedroom and conducting CPR on his own until help arrived.
Other winners from the night at The Grange St Paul's included First Aid Champion, Lizzie Jones, the wife of a professional rugby player who set up a campaign to supply defibrillators to local rugby clubs following her husband suffering a fatal cardiac arrest on the pitch, and Hero Parent Victoria Dawson, who saved her son’s life with CPR after he started to choke and stopped breathing while breastfeeding.
- To find out more about St John Ambulance and how to save a life, visit www.sja.org.uk
- Yours was delighted to be a media sponsor for the Community Hero Award
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