Royal Talbot hero recognised for bravery

When Tim Marchinton was in Queensland last year running a camp for children with a life threatening illness through his organisition - Purple Soup - he didn't expect to find himself in an emergency situation saving a stranger's life.

The Royal Talbot Leisure Therapist had finished a canoe session with the children when he heard screams and commotion.

"Walking back with the kids I heard a woman screaming because her husband had collapsed, he'd had a seizure," Tim says.

"I had a First Aid kit on me and went to offer help."

The man suddenly went into cardiac arrest and Tim and another member of his team, a former nurse, immediately asked a bystander to call 000 and started CPR. 

"Usually I'm pretty upbeat but I became very methodical," Tim says. 

"I was calm on the outside but pretty frightened too."

A defibrillator and oxygen arrived which assisted in saving the man.

"After three rounds of CPR I delivered a shock and halfway through the fourth round of compressions he recovered," Tim says. 

"He went into surgery straight away and as early as the next morning he was in recovery.

"His wife called me to say he'd pulled through."

Tim and his team member were recognised for their bravery last week when they were named Community First Aid Champions 2019 by St John Ambulance Victoria. 

The First Aid Champion Awards highlight the significant need of First Aid training in the community and provide an opportunity for Victorians to honour unsung heroes who have made a lasting impact to a person's life by using their First Aid skills and knowledge. 

"I was very surprised to receive the major award," Tim says.

"The gentleman we saved was there to present it - the organisation had planned that as a surprise for us.

"We'd had one catch up about three months after it happened so it was great to see him again and see he's well - he's about to travel to Vietnam in a couple of weeks and one of his daughters who was at the ceremony is pregnant. 

"To have a glass of wine and chat with him about his grandchildren coming soon was really lovely."

Tim says he's grateful to Austin Health for his yearly BLS update training.

"I always learn something new from the facilitators and in this situation that training was invaluable," he says.