Connect With Us:
The voice of Manilla since 1899
HomeNewsManillaA Special Bond

A Special Bond

Jodie and Ivan with Jodie holding the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) that helped save Ivan's life.

A special bond has already developed between Manilla’s Ivan Turnbull and Jodie Sing after the latter’s lifesaving handiwork on Ivan when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the town’s IGA supermarket three weeks ago.

ìShe saved my life. She worked on me and got me back,î said the 67-year-old as he flicks an appre- ciative glance at Jodie. And wife of 43 years Margaret Turnbull just ìcanít put grateful into words. She gave him back to meî.

Three weeks ago, Ivan col- lapsed in the local IGA, prompting outlet employee Jodie Sing to swing into action and apply the life- saving techniques gained from 10 years with NSW Fire & Rescue.

Ivan referred to it as ìinstinctî with Jodie as she worked on him for the entire 35 minutes until ambulance help arrived.

Modest Jodie though, who con- siders the whole episode ìa great team effort involving the communi- ty and IGA staffî, doesnít place herself on a pedestal. She consid- ers it just part and parcel of what sheís been trained to do through Fire & Rescue.

ìI couldnít find a pulse, his heart had stopped beating so I applied CPR. Luckily the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) which had been donated through a deceased estate to the local pharmacy and passed on to IGA) was in our office. It analysed that Ivan needed to be shocked. This was done and he started breathing again. The AED monitors and assesses the heartís shock rhythm. If it doesnít have that, we continue CPR, but if it does, then we apply the shock. He was so lucky it had happened here and not out of town. The out- come could have been much differ- ent,î Jodie said.

After transportation to Newcastleís Lingard Private Hospital, Ivan (who actually received a quad bypass 22 years ago) was fitted with his new ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) or pacemaker.

ìIf my heart stops, then the pacemaker kicks it in again, and it can be monitored back to the spe- cialist through the device itself. The specialist at Lingard told me the work Jodie had done on me was perfect. They reckon ribs have got to be broken to do the job prop- erlyand I had three broken and two dislocated, but it was well worth it. I was just so lucky to have a person like Jodie with the right know-how work on me properly,î said Ivan, who moved to Manilla 18 years ago for the fishing ñ loves catching them but is allergic to eating them. After his near-death experience, Ivan sends out a warning that simi- lar can happen to anyone, any time. ìI felt great, was in the super- market getting a few groceries and wham. Next thing I remember was faintly hearing a specialist at the hospital asking me questions.î

For Jodie, Ivanís incident was her biggest in the decade sheís been involved with Fire & Rescue.

ìIt didnít register with me for the first couple of days, but then two days later I couldnít sleep. I think I was questioning myself a bit with the what-ifs ñ what if it hadnít turned out the way it did. At the scene I knew I had to take it step by step, focus and process exactly what had to be done. But my train- ing must have kicked in and I just did what I had to do. The best part of it was seeing Ivan okay in the end.î

Summarising it all, Ivan and Jodie both agree on the impor- tance of having more defibrillators scattered around communities. Currently there are several in Manilla ñ doctor surgery, two local clubs, Royal Hotel, the Menís Shed (which Ivan has been a member for the past four years), Fire & Rescue and IGA.

Jodie suggested places like schools and swimming pools ñ anywhere people gather, as good spots for them to be placed. She said they may be considered too expensive, but can make the differ- ence between life and death. And theyíre easy to use.

ìSince Ivanís incident, a lot of interest has been shown by staff members and the public in learning more about defibrillators and how they work. Weíre contemplating holding some sort of learning ses- sion for those interested.î

She said anyone wishing to learn more about NSW Fire & Rescue can do so by contacting Manilla Fire & Rescue captain Ted Taylor or deputy captain John Martin. You can also go to Fire & Rescue NSW website.

Photo: Jodie and Ivan with Jodie holding the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) that helped save Ivan’s life.

By Vinnie Todd