THE daughter of a pensioner who collapsed in a Capital supermarket has issued a heartfelt thanks to the determined nurse who resuscitated him five times before ambulance crews arrived on the scene.
Alex Lamont told how off-duty Kerri Mearns sprang into action after seeing James MacDonald faint in the Morrisons store at the Capital’s Gyle shopping centre while he waited to have a passport photo taken.
Charge nurse Kerri performed lifesaving CPR treatment on the 88-year-old, also known as Hamish, with the help of the store’s defibrillator for more than 45 minutes before paramedics arrived.
Kerri, 30, was returning home after a children’s birthday party with four-year-old son Robbie and admitted she only spotted the pensioner in peril when she “briefly glanced through the window”.
However, Alex, 53, revealed another nurse who was first on the scene had initially placed her dad in the recovery position before Kerri arrived, adding she “absolutely refused to give up”.
She recalled: “I had turned to say to him that there was someone already in the booth and he just looked grey, then he collapsed.
“It was terrifying, there was blood coming out the back of his head, I thought he was gone and when the first nurse came over, I think she was convinced too.
“But then Kerri just took charge, she was not giving up, it was like she was on a mission to save his life.”
She added: “If Kerri had not been there then, my dad would not be here now, I can’t thank her enough for what she did.
“Kerri is a real-life superhero.”
Alex, whose mother passed away in February, also praised staff at Morrisons for reacting quickly to the incident and arriving on the scene with a defibrillator moments later.
She added: “They were excellent, I can’t praise the way a lot of the staff reacted highly enough. They easily could have panicked, but they were very calm in what was a chaotic and stressful situation.”
James, who first moved to Edinburgh from Port Skerra near Thurso five years ago, was taken to the Western General where doctors revealed he had suffered a cardiac arrest induced by a lack of potassium.
Kerri and James have since met on a few occasions, allowing the nurse to “fill in the gaps”.
She said: “We’ve had a cup of tea a few times since that day and I’m obviously delighted to see him recovering well.
“It was just instinct. I initially thought he had fallen, so I went over to check if he was alright, but once I saw what condition he was in, I knew it was a problem with his heart.
“At that stage it was just about making sure he was still breathing when the paramedics got there.”
Kerri also highlighted the importance of having a defibrillator on site in the store, adding it was responsible for saving James’ life.
She said: “In instances like these, time is absolutely vital. The defibrillator was the key to survival, if we did not have that lifesaving equipment close by, I don’t think James would be here.”