Four honoured for saving lives with CPR

B.C. Ambulance Service hands out Vital Link awards forlife-saving efforts

Four Greater Victoria residents were honoured with saving the lives of family, co-workers and strangers by the B.C. Ambulance Service last week.

Fresca Kula, Matthew Lust, Justen Lyle and Thomas Ottewell each received Vital Link awards for their life-saving efforts using cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

“There’s my reward right there, and he wakes up beside me every morning,” Kula said at the ceremony, pointing to her husband, John. The couple was working at their Fisherman’s Wharf floathome on March 27, when John suffered a heart attack.

The petite Fresca kept him alive using CPR until paramedics, who Fresca called the real heroes, arrived.

“Paramedics don’t get enough recognition for what they do everyday,” she said.

Wayne Cox was at work July 12 when he suffered a heart attack that doctors told him only five per cent of people survive. Co-worker Lust used first aid training from his days in the logging industry to resusitate Cox.

“I would have had a zero per cent chance of surviving if Matthew hadn’t known CPR,” Cox said.

Lyle and Ottewell both assisted strangers who suffered sudden cardiac arrests as well.

“I think everyone needs to know CPR,” Ottewell said. “Anyone can do it.”

B.C. Ambulance Service responds to 2,400 to 2,800 cardiac arrest calls each year. Fewer than 12 per cent of people who suffer a heart attack survive.