After witnessing a car accident on the Capital’s outskirts, Chloe Bell had no hesitation in risking her life to help save the injured driver’s life.
An off-duty paramedic at the scene on the M90 recognised the driver had life-threatening injuries and believed the man may need a tracheotomy.
The procedure involves an incision in the windpipe to relieve an obstruction to breathing, meaning the driver’s head and neck need to be supported in order to keep his airway open.
Despite the smell of fumes coming from the wrecked vehicle, Chloe, 21, volunteered to crawl through the rear window and support his head until emergency services arrived.
“I was in the car for seven or eight minutes, but with the smell of fumes it felt like a lifetime,” Chloe said, adding that adrenaline helped her get through the experience.
Chloe, who was on her way home following a trip to the cinema, has been hailed for her actions following the single vehicle collision on February 10.
While the emergency tracheotomy wasn’t required, Chloe’s selfless efforts undoubtedly saved his life.
Her bravery has been recognised with a Royal Humane Society award medal.
The society has been handing out awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations for more than 240 years.
Chloe’s award is a Testimonial on Vellum, which is awarded where someone has put themselves in considerable danger to save, or attempt to save, someone else.
Each one is signed by the society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary. There were only 31 recipients worldwide of the award in 2017.
She said: “I’m quite overwhelmed. It’s something you do as a natural reaction – you don’t expect to receive an award for it.”
Chloe, who is a transport co-ordinator within NHS Lothian’s Flow Centre based at Astley Ainslie Hospital, supports patients across all adult acute sites across Edinburgh and the Lothians. Colleagues describe her as calm, caring and professional and someone who puts others first.
Chloe was left gobsmacked yesterday as members of her family and colleagues gathered at Astley Ainslie Hospital for a surprise presentation of her award.
Her proud father, Keith, was instrumental in organising the presentation, keeping the news a secret from his daughter for almost three months.
He said: “Nine-and-a-half years ago Chloe organised a surprise 40th birthday party for me and I said I would get her back. Now I have and I’m very proud of Chloe – we all are.”