Meeting your lifesaver

Published: 07 December 2017

Lucy finally gets to thank James

Initiative reconnects emergency services workers with those they saved

Lucy finally gets to thank James
Image © 2017 The Project

Last summer, while she was in her bedroom, 44-year-old Lucy’s heart suddenly stopped.

Dr James Doube was off-duty at the time, visiting family nearby. But when word got through to him about Lucy, he dropped everything to help volunteer paramedics get a pulse, and bring Lucy back from the brink.

“When I arrived Lucy was on the ground alongside her bed,” James recalls, “with at that stage the ambulance personnel providing CPR, so compressing on her chest and using a bag and mask to breathe for her.”

Like many emergency services personnel, James often doesn’t get to see meet people whose life he has saved. But Lucy has managed to reach out to meet James and thank him in person, through an online initiative called Find My Hero.

By using the hashtag #FindMyHeroAU on a Facebook post which tells their personal story, others can share and tag the post in the hope of tracking down the individual, department or unit involved.

Bondi Rescue lifeguard Andrew “Reidy” Reid has saved many lives – but his first major rescue was a surfer named Candice, who Reidy saw floating face down in rough conditions.

Reidy says it took at least four minutes to rescue Candice – and it took a defibrillator to shock her back to life.

But Candice recovered fully, and a decade on is now a mother of three, and being able to thank Reidy is an emotional experience.

“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here, he saved my life and I’ve got a beautiful family because of it.”

And the gratitude runs both ways.

“We deal with a lot down here at Bondi and when someone comes and says thank you it’s really nice,” Reidy says. “Candice was great, she just wanted to keep being really grateful. We just really appreciate it.”

For Lucy and Dr James, the meeting is just as meaningful.

“It was a significant moment,” Lucy says through tears. “I just wanted to say thank you, because it was such a big thing that happened.”

Catch these two moving stories tonight on The Project. To see more of these reconnections, or to find your own hero, visit https://www.facebook.com/FindmyHeroAU