When you’ve got medical training, you’re always on call, something RDNS Registered Nurse Daniel Rowe was reminded of earlier this year.
One of RDNS’s highly trained nurses, Mr Rowe was off duty when he saw a man collapsed on the footpath.
Initially thinking the gentleman might need basic first aid, upon reaching him he quickly realised the patient had suffered a heart attack.
Lady Luck delivered not one but two medically trained bystanders, when Jade Lewis, an Australian Army employee with CPR training also noticed the situation and stopped to help.
The pair started CPR and called an ambulance, working on the patient for seven minutes until the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.
What neither Mr Rowe or Ms Lewis knew was that their accidental sidewalk patient was well known scientist and geologist Professor Hillis, who was named South Australia’s 2018 Scientist of the Year.
Although the 54-year old Professor Hillis appeared fit and healthy, he had four clogged arteries, which led to the massive heart attack.
Despite suffering a few broken ribs and sternum from the sidewalk treatment, Professor Hillis made it through surgery to sort out his blocked arteries and into recovery.
Mr Rowe says the event was a reminder of how his extensive first aid training and experience in cardiopulmonary resuscitation can change the lives of others, even in the most unexpected circumstances.
It was such a relief to see Richard brought back to life. Knowing I saved a husband, father and friend really put the situation into perspective for me. I feel very proud and it’s an amazing experience knowing he can still be there for his family, said Mr Rowe.