Glenmore Park resident Pauline Bentley has beaten the odds after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest while shopping on Riley Street in Penrith.
The 77-year-old was revived by bystanders and received six rounds of CPR in less than 24 hours.
24-year-old Kayla Kearns, who was one of the first to help Mrs Bentley, learned CPR at age 17 and has renewed her qualifications every year since.
The local bank employee told the Weekender it was her first time needing to use the skills.
“I was on my way back to work from my break and saw her collapse so I ran across the road and an off-duty police officer and I did compressions and monitored her vitals while an off-duty nurse kept pressure on her head because she was bleeding,” Ms Kearns said.
“You never know when something could go wrong but the training just kicked in and I was so elated when she actually starting coming to.”
Mrs Bentley then had to be revived multiple times once in hospital before being put into an induced coma and then underwent three heart surgeries. She said she is now continuing her recovery at home.
“I don’t remember collapsing, just waking up with a metal tube down my throat, but I am very lucky that it happened in front of people who could help and clearly my number isn’t up yet,” Mrs Bentley said.
“The surgeon said it will take six months to get back to where I was but I still can’t comprehend it, yet they said I probably had two or three heart attacks in the months leading up that I didn’t know about.”
Requiring a valid CPR qualification for her own job, Mrs Bentley said she encourages everyone to consider learning these potentially life saving skills.
“I have worked as a receptionist at my son Alan’s business, Nepean Aquatic Centre, for over 20 years so I have always done a course there every year,” she said.
“I always worry if I could actually bring someone back, so I am so grateful that these heroes jumped in because without them I wouldn’t be here today.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers community news and entertainment for the Western Weekender.