National 7.9.2016 02:56 pm

Firefighter praised for helping woman who suffered a heart attack

Michele Knight of Brakpan, who suffered a cardiac arrest while travelling through Boksburg North with Leon Ferreira Fire Station manager James Masuku.

Michele Knight of Brakpan, who suffered a cardiac arrest while travelling through Boksburg North with Leon Ferreira Fire Station manager James Masuku.

The woman was overjoyed to meet her lifesaver again after the incident.

Fire station manager James Masuku was driving through the area when he noticed Michelle Knight on the road, waving her arm up and down, Boksburg Advertiser reports.

Masuku immediately pulled over and ran to help woman who, he said, appeared very sick.

Michele Knight, James Masuk and Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services spokesperson William Ntladi.

Michele Knight, James Masuk and Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services spokesperson William Ntladi.

Despite having no specialist equipment on hand, the firefighter successfully resuscitated Knight.

He then transported her to Life The Glynnwood Hospital, in Benoni, where it was confirmed she was a regular patient at the hospital with stable cardiac illness.

Knight recovered and has since been discharged from hospital.

She was overjoyed to meet up with her lifesaver after the incident, and she used the meeting to personally thank Masuku for saving her life.

Knight told the Advertiser she hoped he received some recognition for his actions because there was no one else available to resuscitate her and, even under the circumstances, Masuku’s prompt action revived her.

“I was driving in Boksburg North when I felt a sudden pain before I felt weak,” she said.

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“I was weak, disorientated and felt like I was about to collapse from shortness of breath and die.

“Fortunately, moments after I got out of my car, I noticed an emergency service vehicle (Masuku’s car) approaching the area.

“I waved it down, and Masuku stopped to help me within the ‘golden hour’.

“If it was not for his rapid intervention, I think I would have died on the street – yes, Masuku’s swift response proved crucial.

“I would have died if he hadn’t been there. He is fantastic and acted very quickly, which is vital in this type of situation.”

The pair burst out laughing as they posed for the camera after their brief meeting at the station.

The pair burst out laughing as they posed for the camera after their brief meeting at the station.

When the firefighter was reunited with the woman he saved a few days after the event, he appeared very humble about the incident, saying his instinct led him to do the right thing in order to save Knight’s life after realising that her condition was “clearly life-threatening”.

“It’s lovely to see her looking healthy regardless of what had happened,” said Masuku. “I’m so pleased I was able to help Knight when she needed help. I wish her all the best.”

Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services spokesperson William Ntladi said the department was very proud of Masuku.

“His action makes us proud as, without his intervention, it could have been a different outcome,” he commented.

“Well done – you’ve done a very good job!”

Ntladi further stated that praise from a member of the public was high praise indeed, adding it would run counter to the many criticisms the public have made of the department’s services.

– Caxton News Service

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