Six months ago, Paul Noble had dropped his wife Gail at a medical appointment and was crossing Pennant Hills Road to get breakfast at a nearby cafe and read the newspaper while he waited.
He never made it across the busy main road – suffering a devastating heart attack just after 9am.
Three cars back from the crossing, Jane Bolster, a nurse educator and registered midwife at the Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD) Research and Education Network, was on her way to work wondering what was happening ahead of her.
Jane got out of her car and sprang into action, administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a person for the first time in her over 25 year career, reassured because she was up-to-date with her yearly training for basic life support.
At the same time, an electricity worker who had an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine arrived on the scene. The fight for Paul Noble’s life had begun.
Over the next 8 minutes, the pair administered CPR and the AED delivered three shocks before police officers arrived and continued the efforts to bring Paul back to life.
Dr Kevin Lai, an emergency department physician from Westmead Hospital was also driving on Pennant Hills Road as these events were unfolding, and joined Jane, police and paramedics before phoning ahead to Westmead Hospital ED to tell his colleagues to prepare for Paul’s imminent arrival.
Paul’s wife Gail remembers the day she almost lost her soulmate
As her husband was being rushed to Westmead Hospital, Gail Noble finished her own medical appointment.
“When he didn’t come back, I knew something was wrong,” Gail reflected.
The loving couple, former Carlingford residents who now reside on the Central Coast, were 30 minutes early for the appointment that day with Gail admitting she has “never run early in her life”.
“Someone was looking out for us that day – for everyone to be in the same place at the same time and because of that, I still have Paul and Paul has his second chance” Gail said, fighting back tears.
Paul gets his second chance
Paul was in a coma in Westmead Hospital’s intensive care unit for eight days before coming to. At one stage, a Catholic priest visited Paul to give him his last rites.
I don’t remember him being there or anything about it… but it worked. Whatever he said, worked,” Paul remarked.
Thankfully, Paul pulled through, stabilised and was transferred to the K12a Cardiology ward in Westmead Hospital’s Central Acute Services Building to recover before undergoing surgery have a pacemaker put in.
“The staff have been fantastic, absolutely brilliant. The nurses are just absolutely, absolutely brilliant and knowledgeable I have to add,” he said of his four week stay at Westmead Hospital.
Since being discharged in April, Paul’s rehabilitation and care has continued on the Central Coast, he’s had his 74th birthday and he and Gail celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in July.
“She’s been my rock all my life; I don’t know where we’d be without her or what we’d have without her. You’d trust this girl with your life mate, she’s one of the kind,” Paul shared.
“Everybody should learn CPR”
CPR helped save Paul’s life on 15 March and on World Heart Day 2021, Paul Noble has a message for everyone in the community.
“I think everybody should learn it (CPR) and everybody should be able to apply it.
“It just gives you that second chance that if you are dead, which I think I was, it can bring you back to life. It’s got to be worth it, one hundred and ten per cent, and I think everybody should learn it.”
Jane Bolster also stresses the important of yearly basic life support and CPR training saying you never know when might need to use it in the real world.
“Having it on a poster at home isn’t going to help – you need to be able to use it when you come across someone who has had a heart attack crossing the road,” Jane said.