A junior rugby coach has been hailed a hero after helping a pensioner who fell down a flight of stairs and banged his head.
Kirsty Bradburn, a coach with Wigan St Jude’s ARLFC, rushed to the rescue when the 73-year-old man banged his head on the marble floor at the exit to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Resourceful Kirsty, from St Helens, even used a foam finger she had earlier used to cheer on players as a head support for the unfortunate arrows’ fan as he lay stricken on the ground.
She had earlier been watching the World Matchplay darts final and was leaving with her partner Ste Crehan and friends Dave Molyneux and Adam Peel.
Miss Bradburn said: “As we were walking out of the door I heard a thud. As I spun round I saw an elderly gentleman had fallen and wasn’t moving.
“I ran back in and went straight to him.”
She put him in the recovery position and supported his head using the foam fingers from the darts final.
The man’s head was bleeding heavily and he lost consciousness three times, becoming agitated and disorientated at times.
Miss Bradburn said she tried to shake the man to bring him round when he became unconscious and rubbed his arms and legs.
Two nurses attended, dressed the wound on his head and got prepared to do CPR when he lost consciousness, but it was not needed.
Miss Bradburn’s partner and friends put T-shirts under the man’s head and consoled his family while he was treated.
She spent around 90 minutes with the man, before he was taken to hospital.
Happily, she received a text message the next day to say he had left hospital and was okay.
Miss Bradburn was thanked by both his family and staff at the venue for her efforts.
She said: “We were over the moon that he was okay.”
The 29-year-old said she knew what to do because she had first aid training in her role with Wigan St Jude’s ARLFC and her job as a sports coach for Liverpool School Sports Partnership. However, she had previously only dealt with cuts and bruises, rather than anything so serious.
She said: “I felt calm and like I knew what I had to do . There wasn’t a great deal of panic because I felt like whatever was going to happen, I could control.
“When he lost consciousness each time, I could see people around me taking deep breaths and getting upset.”
Her partner Mr Crehan said: “Her training saved this man’s life. Her quick thinking and training left everyone amazed, including the nurses who could only assist in what she had already done. We gave our details to the family and I’m happy to say we got a text message the next morning to say that he was recovering well, along with a lot of thanks for Kirsty’s heroism.”
Miss Bradburn encouraged other people to undergo first aid training in case they ever need to use it.
She said: “Anybody dealing with vulnerable people, children, the elderly, anybody in any sort of job like coaching or teaching, or anybody really, because anything could happen at any point. It just happened that we were in the right pace at the right time.”
The World Matchplay champion, won by Dutchman Michael van Gerwen, saw some of the world’s best darts compete in the seaside resort in front of hundreds of fans.