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UHNM nurse recognised for saving cyclist’s life

A University Hospitals of North Midlands off duty nurse has been recognised for saving the life of a Derby cyclist after he went into cardiac arrest while on a bike ride.

Roger Priestnall, from Derby was enjoying a bike ride along the Tissington trail with his wife, Julia, when he suddenly fell off his bike, into a ditch.

Michelle Cooper, an A&E nurse at UHNM, was cycling the same trail when she noticed Roger was on the floor and unresponsive. Michelle felt his pulse and immediately started to administer CPR, with the help of others, for 35 minutes until the ambulance crew arrived. Roger regained a pulse once a defibrillator was used and he was taken by air ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital.

The 67-year-old said: “We were in the middle of nowhere really, ready to enjoy a bike ride. All I remember from that day is getting the bikes out of the car and getting on my bike.  My memory from the day has completely gone, but thankfully Michelle was there and saved my life.”

Roger, who had been given a 1000-1 chance of survival, received triple heart bypass surgery and is now fully recovered and enjoying his retirement.

He added: “It was a momentous day that I pulled through and we are so thankful to Michelle and what she did on that day.”

Now, Roger and Julia have been reunited with Michelle after she was recognised with a UHNM Hero award following their letter to Tracy Bullock, Chief Executive explaining Michelle’s lifesaving actions.

Julia said: “It’s really good to be here today to see Michelle honoured this way, she was brilliant and because of her my husband is still alive. We are eternally grateful to Michelle for stopping on her day out with her family to save Roger’s life.”

Mrs Bullock said: “I was so proud to receive Roger and Julia’s letter and read about how Michelle saved Roger’s life in the most incredible way. It was the life-saving treatment that Michelle provided that day which gave Roger a positive outcome and it is brilliant to see him doing so well.”

Michelle said: “It was so nice to see Roger and Julia again. To see Roger doing so well is the best outcome I could have hoped for. It’s lovely to be recognised for doing what I do every day at work but it was very different in an out of work scenario.”