A transition year student proved herself a heroine yesterday by saving the life of a waste collector who had suffered a heart attack.
Victoria Williams-Gaine from Shankill saw the employee of Panda Waste collapse outside her home and rushed to administer CPR to the fallen man, which she had learned in school just weeks before. The incident took place on March 26, right before her family took a trip to New York.
The colleagues of 39-year-old Florin Popa, originally of Romania, revealed that he is truly thankful to the secondary school student for her quick thinking.
Popa was first spotted by Victoria's mother Viv on the morning of the incident, who told the Independent.ie,
When I went out, the truck was outside and I could see the man on the ground. I dialled 999 and I shouted up to Victoria. The ambulance man asked if he was breathing and I said no. Victoria got down and she started to do CPR on him.
The first ambulance arrived after 5 minutes, but seeing how competently Victoria administered CPR, they allowed her to continue. When a second ambulance arrived shortly afterwards, Popa was placed inside and taken to St Vincent's Hospital on Merrion Road.
Popa had no pulse when Victoria first started working on him, but it had returned after a few minutes of her applying the lifesaving technique. If not for her speedy intervention, the waste collector would have died.
A spokesperson for Panda called Victoria a "superstar" – we very much agree.