A 22-year-old student nurse who helped bring a man back to life has won 1029 Hot Tomato’s Gold Coast Nursing Award for July 2017.
Grace Whitehead, who is in her final year of study to become a registered nurse, was working part time at the Chempro Chemist at Q Super Centre last May when a man collapsed in the store.
“I heard a loud crash and bang, and ran over to find one of our regular customers seizing on the ground,” she told myGC.
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“I immediately tried to find a pulse, but he didn’t have one. I started CPR immediately, and called out to one of the other staff members to go and retrieve a defibrillator from the medical centre.
“I did 2 shocks on him and continued CPR for about 15 minutes until a paramedic arrived. I continued working with the paramedic until the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.”
The man was deemed clinically dead for 20 minutes, before he was revived at the scene. He spent over a month in hospital before he was released with no sustained damage, which doctors have said is entirely because of Grace’s first response CPR.
“It’s so surreal to hear that,” Grace told myGC.
“At the time my instinct just kicked in, and all I wanted to do was help him.”
Grace and the customer have since become close friends.
“Every time we catch up I get teary. He often comes to visit me at work and has said he is going to come to my graduation at the end of the year which is so sweet.”
Along with a certificate, Grace wins $250 and is now a finalist in the Annual Awards where she could be awarded the annual winner’s cash prize of $5,000.
“Winning the $250 is huge and so unexpected. I am currently applying for jobs all around Australia and need to fly to Melbourne in two weeks for an interview at the RPA. This money will help so much.”
If you know a nurse or midwife who has made a difference in the life of you or your family and deserves to be recognised, you can nominate them for the August 2017 award at mygc.com.au/gold-coast-nursing-awards/