Maida Vale social housing worker’s CPR skills save resident’s life

Maida Vale social housing worker’s CPR skills save resident’s life


Andy Duke

A housing officer at a sheltered housing scheme based in Maida Vale, London, has been handed a national award after saving the life of an elderly resident.

Andy Duke, who works at Central and Cecil’s (C&C) Vivian Court sheltered housing scheme, was alerted by a cleaner after one of the residents was found unconscious at the bottom of a flight of stairs in an incident which happened earlier this year.

The resident had fallen down five steep steps and banged her head, triggering a heart attack, so quick-thinking Andy, who had received medical training as part of his job, began performing CPR immediately.

By the time the paramedics arrived at the scene, Andy had been performing CPR for 14 minutes.

The resident was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and, after a few weeks recovering in the major trauma ward, was able to return home.

Andy has since been awarded a Resuscitation Certificate from the Royal Humane Society for his act of heroism.

Andy said: “A contractor working at a nearby flat heard me calling for help and put the emergency services on speakerphone so I could hear their instructions.

“The resident’s breathing was shallow and intermittent between compressions, and she wasn’t breathing at all for some scarily extended periods.

“She is still recovering from the incident but thankfully she has a care package in place alongside family members to support her.

“I know she feels as though she has been given a second chance. Ultimately, I just did what any caring human being would do, when faced with such a situation.”

Vivian Court is a sheltered scheme of 156 flats for the over 55s.

In his role as housing officer, Andy helps manage the scheme, supporting residents so they can continue to live independently.

It’s owned and managed by C&C, a London-based housing trust which merged with south of England housing association Aster Group in January 2022. Together they own and manage over 35,000 homes.

Julia Ashley, business development director, Aster Group, and former C&C chief executive, said: “As someone who used to work in the ambulance service for two years, I know first-hand just how important it is to act quickly when someone suffers cardiac arrest.

“Andy’s response was outstanding. He will always know that he saved someone’s life and he should be extremely proud of himself.”

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