PC Ben Smith (left) and PC James Nicholson gave a woman CPR after her heart stopped (Credit: Metropolitan Police)
The 27-year-old was attending the Christmas Light Switch On with her young son and sister when she started feeling chest pains on her right side.
She approached PC James Nicholson and PC Ben Smith in South Street and told them she was struggling to breathe.
PC Nicholson helped her walk to Romford Market where there was an ambulance while PC Smith ran ahead to alert the paramedics.
When they arrived the woman started to feel faint and then had a fit which lasted for around two minutes.
The officers put her in the recovery position but a moment later she stopped breathing.
“It was very surreal because she said ‘I don’t want to die’ and then all of a sudden stopped breathing and her heart stopped,” said PC Nicholson.
“Myself and PC Smith then began CPR, chest compressions, breathes and managed to bring her back round.”
PC Nicholson said it was a tense situation because the woman’s son and sister were watching everything they did.
Luckily a group of student officers were patrolling the area and formed a ring around them to stop any crowds from interfering with their efforts.
An ambulance rushed the woman to Queen’s Hospital. She has since been released but is undergoing further tests.
The London Ambulance Service has praised both officers and said she would have died if they didn’t act as quickly and effectively as they did.
“If she didn’t come up to us, there is a good chance that she could have had a cardiac arrest a moment later around the corner where no one was about, you might not have had someone who was trained in CPR and it could have been very different,” added PC Nicholson.
PC Smith was still in his probationary period at the time of the incident but said he knew he could rely on his training and the people around him.
“If there was something that I wasn’t very good at or that I didn’t know, I knew my colleague would most likely know it,” he explained.
“I didn’t ever feel like there was a huge amount of pressure on me because I knew my training and I knew I could deliver on it.”
Both officers kept working after the incident but they later went to the hospital to check on the woman and talk to her family.
They both said it was only when they got home that they calmed down and fully appreciated what had happened.
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