Brave Burnley woman whose quick thinking action saved her dad's life is on a mission to raise funds for vital medical equipment

A brave young woman, whose quick thinking helped to save her dad's life, has launched a fundraising campaign for vital equipment to save more lives.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 6:28 pm

Jodie Sutcliffe sprang into action when her dad, Michael, fell seriously ill in the garden of their home in Burnley's Rosegrove last month, where he was enjoying the sun with his wife, Catherine and Jodie's younger brother, Bradley (16)

Jodie said: "Bradley came running into the house to say something was wrong with dad and he was really poorly and they thought he was dying.

"I ran outside and my mum was crying and calling my dad's name and he was just shaking all over and making strange sounds. His ears just blew up and his lips were blue and his eyes were rolling to the back of his head too.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jodie with her dad Michael whose life she helped to save when he suffered a heart attack followed by a cardiac arrest

"We thought he may be having a stroke."

Jodie's instincts as a first aid trained nursery practitioner kicked in and she managed to lie her father on the ground in the recovery position, with the help of a neighbour who dashed round to help after hearing all the commotion. They began CPR and Jodie's older brother, Ben (30) rang 999.

Jodie added: "The operator told Ben we needed a defibrillator and the nearest one was located at Lowerhouse Cricket Club."

In a mercy dash Jodie's fiance, Luke Kelso, raced to get the life saving equipment but by the time he returned with it the ambulance had arrived and paramedics were working to revive Michael.

Jodie with her Clarets fan dad Michael

The team spent 20 minutes working on Michael before he was blue lighted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where doctors discovered he had suffered a heart attack followed by a cardiac arrest.

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart stops, causing a section of the heart muscle to begin to die. A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating as a whole.

Michael was later transferred to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he was fitted with a stent.

The dad of three was home in time to celebrate his birthday with his family on June 4th an also Father's Day last Sunday. Jodie, who works at Little Blossoms Nursery in Barrowford, said: "It was an extra special celebration for us this year because when it all happened we really thought we had lost my dad.

Jodie with her brother Ben and their dad Michael

"We are a close family anyway but this has made us even closer.

"My dad works as a HGV driver so if it had happened to him when he was working to outcome could have been catastrophic, not just for my dad either."

Realising how vital CPR and defibrillator units are, Jodie is now determined to fund raise for more to be installed in her community and across Burnley. A defibrillator works by giving a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

She said: "I did not realise now scarce they are. The nearest one to us at the cricket club is a nine minute walk away.

Jodie with (from left to right) her fiance Luke, brother Ben, mum Catherine and dad Michael

"There is one at the chemist's in Rosegrove but at the time that had been damaged."

Jodie also wants to highlight that a cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at anytime, regardless of their age.

She found this out after getting in touch with a woman based in Norfolk who has set up a charity after her seven-year-old daughter had a cardiac arrest. Heart to Heart is devoted to raising funds to pay for defibrillators to be installed on schools, public buildings and other community sites.

Jodie added: "A cardiac arrest can happen to any one of us at any time. The world has already seen that as it happened to the footballer Christian Eriksen who is only 29 and fit and healthy."

According to the British Heart Foundation for every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce.

Jodie added: "Christian Eriksen was saved because they managed to get a defibrillator to him within six minutes.

“Heart attacks and cardiac arrests can literally happen to anybody and it wasn’t until I had to go through it that I realised how important things such as defibrillators truly are.

"They are not something I have ever given much thought to before but after we nearly lost my dad I realise how vital they are and they should be as common as fire extinguishers."

Jodie has already raised £1,616 towards her £2,500 goal to pay for a defibrillator. At the end of August she is planning to walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks with a group of friends to boost the fund.

After downloading an app called GoodSAM that tells you where defibrillators are sited, Jodie was shocked to discover that the village of Hapton only has one.

She said: "I want to continue with the fund raising to get as many defibrillators installed where they are needed."

She also praised the efforts of Rosegrove Neighbourhood Watch which has already raised funds for a defibrillator that has been placed outside Bird's chippy in Liverpool Road.

The group is continuing to raise money for another two, one in Lowerhouse Lane and Gannow Lane.

To make a donation to Jodie's fund please click HERE