Lochaber hotel staff praised after saving heart attack victim

DEFIBRILLATOR SUCCESS Gary Flood and Kinga Puskas-Mozes, who successfully saved a guest’s life by using the hotel defibrillator. Photograph Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

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Two staff members of the Isles of Glencoe Hotel near Ballachulish have been praised after their swift actions saved the life of a guest who suffered a serious heart attack on Sunday.

Gordon Armstrong and his wife, Karen, from Kelso in the Scottish Borders, were on holiday in the area last week.

At the weekend they were staying in the hotel to celebrate Mr Armstrong’s impending 50th birthday on Tuesday.

Gordon Armstrong is now recovering at home in the Scottish Borders. NO F42 Gordon Armstrong
Gordon Armstrong is now recovering at home in the Scottish Borders.

But in the bar at lunchtime on Sunday, Mr Armstrong, who works for Scottish Borders Council, suffered a cardiac arrest.

It was only thanks to the quick thinking of waitress Kinga Puskas-Mozes and Gary Flood from hotel reception that Mr Armstrong survived, after they used the hotel defibrillator and first aid CPR to keep him alive until an ambulance crew arrived.

Mrs Armstrong told us: ‘Gordon had started to feel unwell. So I alerted Kinga  who came running and phoned for an ambulance.’

‘My husband was complaining of a tightness in his chest and arm and said they were so hot it felt like they were on fire.

‘Within a couple of minutes his skin had turned grey and then he passed out. Kinga already had the defibrillator ready and Gary gave him the kiss of life.

‘This defibrillator had only been installed for about eight weeks and thank goodness it was there. I can’t thank these two people enough for saving my husband’s life. We will return at some time in the near future to say a personal thank you.’

Ms Puskas-Mozes said in less than a minute Mr Armstrong went from appearing not too bad to slouched on the couch.

‘He started going red and pale and his pulse was through the roof. Things happened so fast after that,’ she said.

‘Thankfully I already had the defibrillator beside us and was also able to do chest compressions. It must have been very scary for his wife and we were so relieved when we saw the ambulance arrive.

‘It is very difficult to put into words what it is like seeing someone possibly dying right in front of you. All you can do is your best and hope for a good outcome.’

After being taken to the Belford Hospital in Fort William, Mr Armstrong was transferred to the Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. Following surgery, he was allowed home on Tuesday.

All hotels in the the Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels group, which includes the Isles of Glencoe, have defibrillators and all staff are trained in their use and first aid.

Hotel manager Lynne Banks said: ‘We are very proud of both Kinga and Gary, and pleased they were able to help Mr Armstrong and that he is recovering,’ she said.