An Aberdeen man has thanked a quick-thinking commuter for saving his life.
Pamela Paton, 33, from Auchleven, was driving to work when she noticed a cyclist on the ground near the Lang Stracht/Skene Road roundabout and feared he had been knocked down.
She pulled over to help and soon realised that Ian Strassheim, 54, was suffering from a cardiac arrest.
Pamela performed CPR while another passer-by phoned for an ambulance, which arrived within 10 minutes.
She said: “I’m a nurse so I felt obliged to stop, even though I had my three-year-old in the car.
“I teach CPR as part of my job, but it’s completely different when you’re having to apply these skills outside of a work environment.
“At the time I was very calm and did what I needed to do, but afterwards I was an emotional wreck and really relied on the support of people around me.”
Ian, who had no previous history of heart problems, had also been travelling to work at the time and woke up in hospital unaware of what had happened.
He said: “My initial reaction was that I had had an accident, but I looked around and couldn’t see any broken bones.
“When I was told I had been in cardiac arrest, it didn’t really sink in. I’m not the type of person who you would typically view as high risk.
“I do lots of sport, I’m not overweight and I had never been diagnosed with any heart problems prior to that day.
“Thanks to Pamela, I made a fast recovery and I was back on my bike within two weeks.”
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The pair were recently reunited for the first time through the Sandpiper Trust’s Wildcat initiative.
Pamela is a responder for the charity, which works to create a network of trained volunteers across the north-east.
She said: “When I met Ian it was a really lovely experience. We just had a cuddle and a coffee together.
“It was really nice to hear that he’s doing well, and he had even managed to go on a cruise.”
She added: “The most important thing to take from the whole experience is how crucial it is to learn basic life-saving skills.
“It could’ve been a completely different outcome otherwise.” Ian, who lives in the Kincorth area of Aberdeen, said his sudden illness was a “strange” experience because he could not recall the incident due to being unconscious the whole time.
He said: “Pamela doesn’t give herself enough credit for what she’s done.”
The pair were joined by Lorna Donaldson, who is a facilitator for The Sandpiper Trust. She said: “It was very emotional but a wonderful experience to be part of.
“It shows that the system works, and that is what we’re all about.
“Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are slim, so Ian is very lucky to be alive.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the charity can visit www.sandpipertrust.org