Decorator saves customer with kiss-of-life

PUBLISHED: 07:31 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:55 15 June 2010

PAINTER and decorator Lisa Branson didn't have time to brush up on her first aid skills when a customer collapsed and stopped breathing at his Honiton home.

PAINTER and decorator Lisa Branson didn't have time to brush up on her first aid skills when a customer collapsed and stopped breathing at his Honiton home.She remembered training given to her firefighter husband Richard and successfully revived pensioner Peter Cole, a volunteer hospital car driver.Lisa, 35, of The Old Saddlery, off Queen Street, Honiton, was painting the bathroom at Mr Cole's home on Tuesday last week when she became an unsuspecting life-saver."I'd gone to my van when I heard an almighty thud," she told the Herald. "Peter's wife, Audrey, called me."Peter was in the hallway, on his back, and I couldn't feel a pulse. "He wasn't breathing."Lisa turned Mr Cole onto his side and gave him the kiss of life."I gave him a few breaths and he went really purple," she said. "Then I put him in the recovery position."Mrs Cole, who had been suffering from a painful bout of arthritis, managed to stay equally calm and called an ambulance."I held Mr Cole's head and reassured him, but an ambulance arrived very quickly," said Lisa.Her 11-year-old daughter, Georgina, told the Herald: "I think she was really brave. "When she came home, she was a bit shakey and tearful. She did well."Lisa's husband, a fireman at Exeter Airport and retained firefighter in Honiton, said: "I'm really proud of her."Mr Cole was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where tests are being carried out to find the cause of his collapse.He hadn't been feeling very well shortly before the 11.30am drama and Lisa, who considers the Coles friends, had been shopping for the couple earlier in the morning.He had been sitting in a chair, reading a newspaper, moments before he stopped breathing.Mrs Cole launched the petition to save Marks and Spencer in Honiton and it was she and Lisa who were observed collecting signatures outside the Lace Walk store recently.Councillor Vivienne Ash, acting chairman of Honiton Town Council, has stepped in to ensure the petition continues. n See page 5 for full story.


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