IN pitch dark in Mulberry Lane on Friday night, 22-year-old veterinary nurse Jenna McAtamney gave life-saving CPR to a woman using only the light from her mobile phone.
“I am incredibly proud of her,” owner of Mulberry Lane Vet Clinic Judith Carney, where Mrs McAtamney was working at the time of the accident on Friday night, said
“It was closing time and I was just at the desk finishing off when I heard this huge crash,” Mrs McAtamney said.
She ran into Mulberry Lane, which runs alongside the clinic where there is no street lighting, and using the light from her mobile phone found a 65-year-old woman unconscious at the wheel of her vehicle.
“There was a client coming in the door at the same time so I got him to help me get the lady out and I rang triple-0,” she said.
“The operator started to talk me through the CPR, but I have just upgraded my training again because I used to be a swimming instructor.
“It just all came to me and I knew what to do - it was amazing how it just all kicked in.”
Mrs McAtamney said her heart was racing.
“But I tried to stay calm - it just kept coming back to me what I had to do so I cleared the lady’s airways and started the compressions and just kept going until the ambulance arrived.”
She was relieved the paramedics’ response was rapid.
“They just seemed to get here so quickly - they were amazing,” she said.
While the paramedics set up to use a defibrillator on the woman, Mrs McAtamney kept the compressions going.
“I just kept remembering the compressions had to be one third of the chest depth and with the training now you don’t have to blow in to the patient’s mouth - they say the compressions are the most important thing.”
Mrs Carney admitted it was just a few days before the accident she stressed to her staff the importance of first aid training.
“Who would ever have imagined that just a few days later this would happen - Jenna was fantastic,” she said.
But there was no time for the young vet nurse to relax after the trauma.
“We had someone come in with a cat who needed emergency surgery so I had to assist with the anaesthetic,” she said.
“I didn’t sleep very well on Friday night.”
Things got better o Saturday when she received a call from the two paramedics who attended the scene.
“They congratulated me and told me I did a good job - it really is a nice feeling, so I would encourage everyone out there to train to do CPR,” she said.
The 65-year-old woman survived her medical emergency and is now in a stable condition at Orange hospital.