FIVE strangers have all been honoured as one for saving the life of a Ballarat man who had collapsed outside Sovereign Hill.
David Sharp, 39, suffered a heart attack near the entrance to the tourist site on June 18 this year and and was lying on the footpath without a pulse when a group of people swung into action.
Bus driver Steve Bathurst was the first to notice what he thought was a backpack and clothing on the grass and went to investigate when he discovered Mr Sharp motionless on the ground.
He and a group of passengers including Braidyn Psaila called 000 before beginning CPR.
Meanwhile a passing runner ran to Sovereign Hill to ask for help with desk clerk Louise Johnson grabbing a defibrillator while tour guide Peter Gamble and security guard Peter Dwyer also helped with CPR.
“He wasn’t responsive, didn’t have a pulse, wasn’t breathing, was cold to touch then the people from Sovereign Hill arrived with their defibrillator machine,” Mr Bathurst said.
“I was running a bit early and there’s a timing point in front of Sovereign Hill. I stopped the bus, saw a backpack lying on the ground and then I noticed it was a person.
“There was three of us who helped, Braidyn a couple of other guys on the bus as well, then a runner was running by and saw we were giving assistance and he went into Sovereign Hill and they grab the defibrillator.”
Mr Bathurst said it was overwhelming to think a life had been saved.
“It’s something I just happened to be there, I was just the first part of the puzzle, the guys in Sovereign Hill with the defibrillator were fantastic and there paramedics were incredible, my part was tiny but obviously there was a great outcome at the end of it.
Mr Sharp, who has since made a full recovery, said he was amazed by the teamwork of a bunch of strangers.
“No one knows how long I was there not breathing but to have all these people step in and save my life is pretty amazing,” Mr Sharp said.
“I’d be dead if they didn’t do what they did. It’s as simple as that”.
Mr Sharp was in the audience to see the group receive Community Hero medals presented by Ambulance Services minister Jenny Mikakos and Ambulance Victoria chief executive Tony Walker at a ceremony in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Mr Walker said bystanders could be the difference to someone’s chances of survival in the first critical minutes of an emergency, by providing first aid while paramedics are on the way.
“They didn’t hesitate to step in when it counted, and their efforts saved lives,” Mr Walker said.
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