star Alexandra Burke visits Highbridge heart attack survivor
Highbridge woman whose heart stopped just minutes before a performance
of The Bodyguard at Bristol Hippodrome has been visited by the
star of the show.
X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, the musicals leading actress,
met with Judith Mansfield and her family at the Bristol Heart
Institute on Saturday (January 30th).
And there was also an emotional reunion with the three St John
Ambulance volunteers who saved Judiths life.
Judith, from Highbridge, was at the Hippodrome with her daughter,
Bev Bishop, when she collapsed in her seat on Thursday January
"There was no warning," said Bev. "Mum had been
a bit puffed out on the walk from the car park to the theatre,
but shes asthmatic and I didnt think it was anything
cardiac arrest was completely out of the blue; we were in our
seats and one minute I was talking to mum, the next moment she
was out cold it was terrifying."
Fortunately, Kristian Keyte a St John Ambulance volunteer
who is currently training as a nurse at Weston General Hospital
was on a night out and sitting nearby.
Kristian rushed to Judiths aid as soon as he realised she
was unwell, and started giving cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
He was swiftly joined by the St John Ambulance volunteers who
were on duty, providing first aid at the theatre Craig
Rankin and Steve Jones.
While Kristian continued giving CPR and Steve prepared equipment,
Craig used the Hippodromes portable defibrillator to deliver
the single life saving electric shock to Judiths heart which
By the time the ambulance arrived and Judith was taken to the
Bristol Royal Infirmary, she was conscious and talking.
"So many people helped us especially the St John Ambulance
volunteers. I cant thank them enough," Bev added.
"We are eternally grateful to everyone involved, and my mum
was treated with the utmost dignity and respect."
Judith was at the theatre for a post-birthday treat and doesnt
remember her cardiac arrest.
"I got to my seat in the front row of the Grand Circle, took
my coat off and the next thing I remember is coming round and
people asking me if I was OK," she said.
"These three St John Ambulance boys saved my life. If I hadnt
gone to the theatre that evening and Id been at home when
I had a cardiac arrest, I dont know what wouldve happened."
"Im very lucky to have been in the right place at the
Burke was delighted to meet Judith and her life savers again at
the Bristol Heart Institute particularly as Saturday night
was her last performance in the city.
"Im just so thankful that Judith is ok and it was lovely
to meet her," said Alexandra.
She has invited Judith and her family to see The Bodyguard at
a later date during the tour, or come back to the Bristol Hippodrome
and see her in Sister Act in September.
Craig Rankin has volunteered for St John Ambulance for eight years
and works as a paramedic with the South Western Ambulance Service
NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) in North Somerset.
"Its very rare to get an incident like this and it
just goes to show that if you get 'hands-on', delivering CPR,
and use a defibrillator early the outcome can be so positive,"
"Its amazing that Judith was talking to us so quickly,
on the night, and its lovely to see her recovering so well
at the Bristol Heart Institute."
saves life of Highbridge woman after heart attack