Video: Burnley heroine whose quick thinking saved her dad's life raises almost £4,000 for vital medical equipment in three months

The grateful dad of a quick thinking young Burnley woman, who sprang into action when he suffered a cardiac arrest, has said he will never be able to repay her for saving his life.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:30 pm

Speaking about his daughter, Jodie, Michael Sutcliffe said: "I will never be able to thank Jodie enough for what she did for me that day.

"She deserves so much for what she did for me. She saved my life that day."

After the drama in June Jodie vowed to start a campaign to raise money for life saving equipment.

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Jodie, pictured next to the defibrillator she raised the money for, with her dad Michael who has paid tribute to his daughter for saving his life when he had a cardiac arrest

And, in just three months, she has raised almost £4,000 and the first defibrillator she paid for was unveiled at Rosegrove Chippy in Lowerhouse Lane.

Jodie (24) said: "I plan to continue raising money for many more across Burnley as it is such a vital piece of equipment.

"Until three months ago I wasn't really aware of how vital this machine is."

Jodie reached her target through a series of, raffles and donations from generous local firms and organisations and by completing the Three Peaks challenge.

Jodie pictured with the newly installed defibrillator she raised funds for

Jodie sprang into action when Michael fell seriously ill in the garden of their home in Rosegrove 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.

"We thought he may be having a stroke."

A thumbs up from Jodie and her team who completed the Three Peaks challenge

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.

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.

Jodie with her parents, Michael and Catherine, and her fiance Luke (left) and brother Ben

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.

The dad of three was home in time to celebrate his birthday with his family on June 4th and has since made a full recovery.

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."

On the day of Michael's collapse, a second ambulance had to be called for Catherine's brother Lee Kelly, who had slipped and fallen in the kitchen while dashing to help after receiving a call from his sister.

Catherine said: "He fell and broke his leg in three places so we needed a second ambulance which took him to the Royal Blackburn Hospital."

Keen to promote 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. 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.

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

A defibrillator works by giving a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Jodie, who conquered the Three Peaks with Luke, her cousin, Lydia Wood, her uncle Duncan Wood and Declan Martin who is the partner of Lydia's sister, Abi. 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."

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 so she is determined the next funds raised will pay for one to be installed there.

Jodie has 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 the Lowerhouse Lane area and Gannow Lane.

And the group recently ran a series of first aid sessions teaching people how to perform CPR. Jodie feels strongly this is a skill everyone should learn.

Jodie has thanked everyone who has supported her campaign with help and donations including MKM Building Supplies, Motorpoint, Burnley Police and Shelly Heap, Stan Heaton and Frank Entwistle who held a raffle at Lowerhouse Cricket Club. She has also thanked Rosegrove Chippy owners Rhys and Neil Cole for providing the electricity for the defibrillator and Cheetham Electricals for fitting it free of charge.

Anyone who would like to make a donation is asked to click HERE