Department of Nursing

Swindon student a real life-saver - even on holiday

Monday, 09 April 2018

152495955 news

All our nursing students are trained to make a difference in their professions, but second year student Sarah Elliott recently proved she’s a hero even when relaxing on a beach.

While enjoying a nice break on Chaweng beach in Thailand, Swindon nursing student Sarah and her partner Michael spotted three girls trying to call attention to a man struggling in the water. The beach is well known for its strong rip tides, so the pair quickly realised the man was in real danger.

Michael and I are caring people and it only came naturally to us to help another no matter the circumstances. I'd like to think someone would help us if it had so happen to be us in that situation.

Sarah Elliott, Second Year Nursing Student

Michael and Sarah swam over quickly to help. Sarah describes what followed:

Michael and I both helped this gentleman as I would have thought anyone would have done the same, it so happened to be us on that day. Although saying that, the beach was pretty full and there are no lifeguards in that particular area, luckily enough we were there.

Michael swam over and I followed. Luckily, Michael is quite strong, so with him grabbing the man’s arm, we could get him back to the beach. 

He was totally exhausted. His breathing was rapid and, as we helped him out of the water, it was clear his legs were about to give way. As Michael ran to get him some water, I stayed with him and tried to help him calm down and get his rapid breathing steady. The girls who’d got our attention told us that they thought he was being dragged out to sea.

He was semi-conscious, but we managed to get him talking and we realised he was English. He managed to say his name was Graham. I tried to reassure him and get him to through his nose and out of his mouth, as he wasn’t sure what was happening. He managed to tell me that he thought he was going to die in the sea, the current was so strong.

While he was starting to come around, his breathing was still very rapid and he was clearly still very weak. By this time, a gentleman had brought over an umbrella to keep him in the shade and Noel Hogan (who later reported on our bravery) also came over to help. Graham was able to tell us that he had no known medical issues, and that he wasn’t in pain, and he managed a few sips of water. But he was too dizzy and exhausted to stand, so we reassured him that it was safest to get checked out at hospital.

We had been on the beach for around 40 minutes at this point. Once the ambulance crew arrived, Michael pointed them in the right direction. I explained what happened and they did Graham’s blood pressure, also an ECG reading and blood glucose check. I managed to look at the readings and they appeared stable. He was still so dizzy and exhausted that we had to help him move onto the stretcher. Michael and a few others helped to get Graham to the ambulance. I said to Graham I wished him all the best, and he said thank you. 

I'm also very proud of Michael. He was doing a lot of the running around, getting Graham water, getting his some shade, and also keeping an eye out for the ambulance crew as well as pulling Graham to the beach.

You can read a bit more about this story in the Swindon Advertiser.

Everyone in the Nursing department would like to say well done to Sarah and Michael on their heroic quick actions.

As Sarah puts it: “Michael and I helped this gentleman as I would have thought anyone would have done the same, it so happened to be us on that day. Although saying that, as are no lifeguards in that particular area, luckily enough we were there.

Michael and I are caring people and it only came naturally to us to help another no matter the circumstances. I'd like to think someone would help us if it had so happen to be us in that situation.