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Off duty nurses praised for saving life of train driver


A group of nurses returning home from a hen party weekend have been praised for saving the life of a train driver who suffered a myocardial infarction.

David Graham, 50, had a heart attack at the controls of the Trans-Pennine Express last September and lost consciousness seconds after stopping his train near Malton in North Yorkshire.

Among the passengers on board the Scarborough to Liverpool train were ward manager Lisa Elliot and staff nurses Natalie Dignan, Lynsey Swarbrick, Kathryn Jackson, Aimee Heath and Hilary Upton.

The six nurses, who work in the burns and plastics unit at Royal Preston Hospital, responded to the train conductor’s request for the assistance of any clinically trained persons on board.

The group worked together to administer first aid to Mr Graham and keep him calm, before the arrival of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The nurses said they were pleased their efforts to help Mr Graham had been successful.

In a joint statement they said: “Emergency care isn’t something we normally do on our ward, but because we’re used to working together as a team, we were able to come together to do what was necessary.”

Mr Graham called the nurses “marvellous,” and said he “couldn’t thank them enough”.

Steve Flanagan, the Royal College of Nursing’s director for the north west, said their actions clearly demonstrated “care and compassion” was still very much “at the heart” of the nursing profession.

He said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to praise these nurses for their hard work and willingness to help this man, ultimately contributing to saving his life.”

The nurses have since been featured on the BBC’s Helicopter Heroes programme, where they were re-united with Mr Graham in May.


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Readers' comments (7)

  • tinkerbell

    Well done you off duty nurses:)

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  • shows how highly skilled and competent qualified nurses are as well as being able to adapt these assets to a difficult situation outside the hospital environment. very well done.

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  • Well done to the nurses. But what a puerile remark from Flanagan of the RCN.

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  • sorry to change the subject (having already made the second comment above), but have just came back to this page whilst listening to the news report following the Paris train disaster (and a fairly common remark) -'it could have been far worse' or 'there could have been far more casualties, or loss of life, etc.'

    such comments are of little support to those seriously injured, in shock or who have lost loved ones. it is reminisscent of the well worn mantra used in serious failings of health services from mainly non-professional management speaking on behalf of professionals responsible that 'lessons have been learned'!

    could the reporting of, explanations for and "apologies" not be modified to use more sensitive and language more appropriate to the situation?

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  • Well done! Hope that it made one young ladies hen-weekend all the more memorable!

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  • Good for them! I'm sure the prospective bride of the time will long remember with great happiness the incident ...

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  • I agree with Mags. What a cretin! Did care and compassion ever go away for the majority of us? It's so patronising, it makes me want to spit. "The little girlies managed to pull themselves together"!

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