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Physiotherapist and sports therapy graduate provide vital assistance

Physiotherapist and sports therapy graduate provide vital assistance Banner Image

The quick thinking of a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) academic and an alumna helped extend the life of a woman who had collapsed on Preston Railway Station.

UCLan’s Greg Littler and Megan Stewart, along with rugby playing surgeon Dr Greg Nicholls, used their medical skills and a defibrillator to resuscitate the woman while they were waiting to catch a train to a rugby match.

Senior Physiotherapist Greg and sports therapy graduate Megan were with their fellow Fylde Rugby Club team members when the incident happened.

The woman was unresponsive, she wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse so between the three of us we did CPR, used the station’s defibrillator and worked on her until the paramedics arrived. Thankfully we got her pulse back and she was taken to hospital

Greg, who combines his full-time UCLan role with his rugby physio position, said: “I’d picked up my coffee ready for the trip when a member of staff came rushing over asking if we could help with a medical emergency. I’d got my full medical kit with me, complete with a range of medical gases, so we ran over to see what we could do.

“The woman was unresponsive, she wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse so between the three of us we did CPR, used the station’s defibrillator and worked on her until the paramedics arrived. Thankfully we got her pulse back and she was taken to hospital.”

The 29-year-old has worked at UCLan for the past three years and teaches on both the physio and sports therapy programmes. He is one of the main academics who works in the UCLan Physio Clinic.


UCLan Senior Physiotherapist Greg Littler.

He said: “The adrenaline definitely kicked in and I’m glad my first aid and CPR skills came in useful. I always keep on top of medical training and thankfully the three of us were in the right place at the right time for this woman."

The 66-year-old woman was taken to Royal Preston Hospital and was later transferred to intensive care in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary where she died a few days later.

In a message of thanks to the first aiders the family said: “They gave us a few days to sit by her bed and say our goodbyes." Earlier in the week, the woman’s son, speaking on behalf of the whole family, wrote to the rugby club to thank the medics for their actions. He said: “I cannot thank you enough and I am forever in your debt.”

Rachel Atkinson | 13 January 2016