Air steward saves heart attack victim, 83

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The Independent Online
A TENACIOUS senior air steward described yesterday how he saved the life of an 83-year-old grandmother after two brain surgeons considered giving up the battle to revive her.

British Airways purser Marc Harding refused to give up on Pittmanne Japal from Mauritius, after she suffered a heart attack during a family trip to Florida on Friday.

Mr Harding rushed to the scene to find two neurosurgeons, heading for a convention, tending to the patient. "There was no breathing, there was no pulse," the purser said.

He began giving artificial respiration as the two doctors, one Irish and one Norwegian, massaged her heart. But after several minutes there was no response. "One of the doctors said 'let's stop and evaluate this', then he said 'I don't think there is much more we can do'," Mr Harding explained.

Using the cabin's defibrillator, which sends surges of electricity through the chest, he tried to restart Mrs Japal's heart. Mr Harding said: "There was an amazing jolt through her body, and all of a sudden she groaned and started breathing again and her legs and arms twitched. I was in awe."