Quick-thinking actions of colleagues saved man’s life

The quick-thinking actions of colleagues saved a 45-year-old man’s life when he collapsed at work due to a sudden cardiac arrest.

Artur Klab, a factory worker at Gressingham Foods, was moving trollies at its facility in Redgrave last December when the incident happened.

Thankfully, Artur’s colleagues noticed he had collapsed immediately and were able to deliver CPR and administer five shocks from the factory’s defibrillator – action that saved Artur’s life.

Gressingham was founded by Northern Ireland couple Maurice and Miriam Buchanan who moved to Suffolk in 1971.

Gressingham Foods manager Karoline Novak, who was one of the first on the scene when Artur collapsed, said: “As soon as I saw Artur collapse, I knew that something was wrong.

“I rushed over to him and one of my colleagues, Shane Long, noticed that he had stopped breathing.

“Another of my colleagues, Grace Evans, contacted security immediately to call for an ambulance.”

Shane, along the other co-workers at the scene, Carrie Barrett, Marcelino Da Silva , James Pipe and Theo Kadova, all began taking it in turns to administer CPR.

Artur collapsed last December
Artur collapsed last December
Artur collapsed last December

“Thankfully, we had a defibrillator close by on site and my colleague James was able use the unit to deliver a total of five shocks to Artur,” Karoline added.

“Eventually, we were able to establish a heart rhythm and shortly after that the paramedics arrived to take Artur to hospital in an air ambulance.

“It was a really scary situation, but I’m just so glad that we were all so close by to help Artur.”

Artur’s cardiac arrest was caused by an underlying heart condition he was unaware of – the dangers of which were highlighted by the collapse of footballer, Christian Eriksen, after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch at the 2020 UEFA European Football Championships.

Following his transfer to hospital, Artur made a remarkable recovery, returning to consciousness and being able to speak to family and friends within 48 hours of his collapse.

He has since had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted to his heart, which will help restart his heart if needed, and was able to return to work in January.

The paramedics who attended the scene said the fact his colleagues were able to act quickly and use a defibrillator to restart Artur’s heart was the reason his life had been saved and that he had avoided catastrophic brain damage.

Speaking about the experience, Artur said: “I want to thank everyone who helped me as without their quick response I don’t think I would be here today.

“I am grateful to everyone that assisted me and all the aftercare and kind messages that the team at Gressingham Foods has given me.”

Gressingham first installed a defibrillator at its Redgrave facility 10 years ago and routinely provides medical training – including how to administer CPR – to its employees.

Following the incident, the business also brought in a life councillor to support those that had witnessed Artur’s collapse.

The employees involved in saving Artur’s life also received a thank you letter and gift from the company’s managing director Chris Morley.

Carrie Barrett, a learning and development manager at Gressingham Foods who helped issue CPR, stated: “This incident highlights the importance of businesses investing in medical life saving equipment such as defibrillators and in training for their staff.

“I’m really thankful that we were able to act quickly to save Artur’s life and am so pleased to see him back fit and well,” she added.