Bravery Award for man who saved friends life with CPR

15 October 2019

One of the amazing stories that came out of our Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards this year involved a timely visit to a friend’s house that saved a life! In May this year, Daniel Crook was on his way home from work when he decided to pop in on his friend Michael and wife Sheryl on a routine visit. This turned out to be a life-saving decision! Within a few minutes of Dan arriving at the home, Michael collapsed, unconscious, to the floor.

Daniel says he was simply in the right place at the right time! “I was just sat in the kitchen talking to Michael and his wife and next minute he fell to the floor in a spectacular fashion, and then I gave him CPR for about 13 minutes. They said if I wasn’t there, he certainly would not have been here today. It was a big heart attack; he went really quick. His wife is also not really capable of carrying out CPR. She would have had no chance on her own.”

Daniel Crook receiving his Bravery Award from RLSSWA President Colin Hassell and WA Governor Kim BeazleyAfter Michael collapsed Daniel responded very quickly and it was that fast response that was crucial. He commenced CPR immediately while instructing Sheryl to call 000. “The person on the phone was very good and very instructive – you certainly can’t count under that kind of stress so she was talking me through it – without her it would have been a struggle. So I just want to praise the paramedics – they were really good. I’d never seen such fluid and well-orchestrated teamwork being carried out. The standard of the emergency services over here is impeccable” Daniel says.

Michael’s survival is certainly testament to the fact that Daniel had completed CPR training previously as part of a diving scenario. He says it’s extremely important for all of us to have that kind of training! “I would recommend it be taught in school after going through what I went through. It’s very common for people to do what I did, and there’s a couple of people I know who weren’t as successful as Michael and I. I don’t know what it’s like in Australia, but I never got taught CPR at school in the north of England. I just did it through a rescue diving course – and that did help me save a life!”

Daniel says the 13 minutes he spent working to save Michael was an extremely intense experience. “I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. It was very upsetting because he’s a friend. I mean, it would be different if it was somebody random in the street, because I don’t think you’d have quite that emotional attachment. But when it’s your friend that you see every day and it happens to them – I thought he was dead and I thought I wasn’t doing him any good but apparently I was doing a really good job. The paramedics said that it was the best CPR they had ever seen, which I found really hard to believe. In my mind I thought there was a 5% chance – from the look of him and having not much confidence in my own ability. But I just carried on and apparently, I did a very good job. It was very tiring doing it though – mentally more than physically for me.”

Michael went on to make a good recovery and celebrated his 70th birthday with his family and Dan a few weeks later. In what would have been a stressful and traumatic situation, Daniel acted without hesitation to save Michael’s life. For this incredible effort Daniel received a very well-deserved Gold Medallion Bravery Award during a ceremony at the State Reception Centre in Kings Park.

You can make sure you're prepared if you even needed to save the life of a friend, loved-one or stranger by completing a first aid course with Royal Life Saving WA!

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