Football coach helps save diner choking at Yaxley carvery

A football coach helped save a diner who was choking at a carvery in Yaxley.

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 6:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 11:51 am

Simon Roberts rushed to the aid of the man while eating at The Farmers in Yaxley with his girlfriend and daughter last night (Sunday, November 4).

The man was slumped on the floor just outside the restaurant and had banged his head before the youth coach began giving him chest compressions which he believes helped dislodged food stuck in his throat.

First responders and ambulance staff then arrived before he was taken to hospital.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Simon Roberts

The man, who was believed to be in his 60s, was said to have been speaking before being taken away in an ambulance.

Netherton United under 15s coach Simon (48) from Deeping St James was with girlfriend Kelly Scannapieco and daughter Livvi (11) when the emergency incident unfolded.

He said: “The guy was in front of us in the queue.

“When we sat down he got up with his friend and went out holding his throat. My girlfriend said ‘that’s a bit strange’.

“The next thing a female member of staff came running in shouting ‘first aid!’

“I was closest to the exit so I said to my missus ‘I will go and help’.

“A friend was trying to hold him up. He was slumped on his knees and fell forward and banged his head.

“He was just motionless. I said to his mate ‘what’s happening?’ He said ‘I think his food is stuck in his throat. He can’t breathe’.

“His face had started going grey. I gave him compressions, and after about a minute he started to gargle and the colour started coming back to his face.

“I was pumping his chest for eight to 10 minutes and maybe I dislodged something.

“A first responder arrived and took over. He was then taken away in an ambulance.”

Simon attributes his actions to the first aid course he has done while training to be a coach, and the refreshers he has taken.

He hopes his story will inspire others to learn the same skills in case they come across a similar situation.

He added: “Part of being a qualified coach is you have to do child protection and basic first aid. You have to renew that every three years. I’ve also been involved in a defibrillator course.

“I’ve been a coach eight years, I’ve always though I didn’t know if I would be brave enough to use the training.

“It was quite daunting, but it made me happy I could do it.

“I don’t know what happened to the guy but he was talking to the ambulance people. They said I had done well so I was quite proud.

“Afterwards I just could not eat my dinner. I was shaking and trembling for about an hour.

“It would be so good if more people took the basic first aid course, Although there was around eight people around only one person offered to take over the compressions.

“I just thought it was a bit of fate I was there. I would like to know how he is.”

The East of England Ambulance Service thanked the members of the public who helped the man and called 999.

They are urging others to also learn first aid skills:

A spokesman said: “A first aid course with the Red Cross or St John Ambulance can teach you the basics of first aid in a couple of hours, and by keeping a clear head an staying calm in an emergency you really can be the difference between life and death.”