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Islington dinner party host saved life of his guest

PUBLISHED: 14:17 31 March 2011

PC Paul Shalan and Lucas Robinson

PC Paul Shalan and Lucas Robinson

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A DINNER party host who saved the life of a guest who suddenly collapsed was among those commended by Islington’s top cop.

Lucas Robinson launched into life-saving CPR when 34-year-old Andrew Gaines keeled over at his flat in Liverpool Road, Islington, in October last year – and doctors said his intervention was critical in keeping Mr Gaines alive.

Police Constable Paul Shalan, who also rushed to Mr Gaines’s aid after being flagged down in the street by two other dinner guests, said: “When I got there, Lucas was already doing life support. If it was not for him, I think Andrew would have died. He recognised he was in great difficulty.”

PC Shalan added: “In training, it gets quite tiring after a couple of minutes of CPR. But when it’s for real you don’t think of fatigue – and I was not going to let this man die. I knew in my head if we kept going he would come back.”

Mr Gaines, who was a seemingly fit and healthy marathon runner, had suffered a cardiac arrest due to an undetected heart defect. He fell into a coma for several days – but eventually made a full recovery.

Mr Robinson, 33, who works in international development, had picked up his first aid skills in a pre-deployment course before being sent to Afghanistan to work for the Canadian government. He said: “I never expected to use the training on a 34-year-old marathon runner.”

Both life-savers were honoured by Islington’s borough commander Chief Superintendent Mike Wise last Monday at a ceremony at the Honourable Artillery Company in City Road, Finsbury, as part of a group of more than 20 officers, volunteers and members of the public recognised for their brave and heroic acts.

They included Police Community Support Officers Andy Sanguigni and Anthony McCausland, who had tackled a bloody-nosed man wildly brandishing a shard of broken glass after a fight in kebab shop – without any safety equipment.

PCSO McCausland said: “He put the glass to one of his friend’s throats and I knocked it out of his hand. I was not really thinking – it was just a reaction.”

PCSO Sanguigni said: “Had Anthony not done that, we don’t know what could have happened.”

PC Debra Mackrell and PC Xanthos Ethelontis saved a woman from killing herself by catching her as she jumped from a window, while officers were praised for tracking down men suspected of a machete robbery spree – and many other examples of sterling police work.

Chief Superintendent Wise said: “I am proud of the outstanding achievements of my officers and staff, and members of the community who keep Islington a great and safe borough.”


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