The Specsavers York team save a woman from Harrogate after suffering a seizure

Jacqueline Rice, 56, has been cared for by optometrist Paula Conway and optometrist Charlotte Wilson, who work for the York Specsavers home visitation team, after completing their final first aid training course at their home in Harrogate.

Jacqueline and the York team aim to raise awareness of home patient care for those in need and highlight the importance of vital first aid training.

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Jacqueline has relied on the support of remote care services such as Specsavers Home Visits as three years ago brain surgery following a hearing infection caused three abscesses in her brain and left her with severe epilepsy.

Optician Paula Conway, who helped Jacqueline, said: “I arrived at Jacqueline’s with my colleague and underwent a routine eye exam.

“After completing the exam, Jacqueline began to feel uncomfortable and we quickly noticed that she was unwell as she began rocking back and forth in her chair with her eyes closed.

“Jacqueline banged her head against the wall behind her, so I asked my colleague Charlotte to get a pillow from the bed to support her head. Luckily we had received first aid training from Specsavers earlier in the week which enabled us to recognize the need to remove any objects around them that could cause injury.”

Jacqueline’s epilepsy means she is unable to get out of bed. After realizing that Jacqueline was having a seizure, the team alerted her partner, Louise.

Because the seizure lasted more than five minutes, the team recognized the urgency and called an ambulance while carefully rolling Jacqueline onto a duvet on the floor and keeping her in the recovery position until emergency services arrived.

Paula said: “We stayed on the phone until the ambulance arrived and Charlotte continued to calm Jacqueline’s partner.

“The paramedics couldn’t believe how our recent training from St. John’s Ambulance Instructor Karl Whittaker had allowed us to remain calm, act on our knowledge and handle this emergency situation.

“Both myself and my partner agreed that while we were muddled, our training was invaluable in dealing with a real emergency.”

After the incident, Charlotte regularly visited Jacqueline after she was discharged from Harrogate Hospital.

Speaking of her experience, Jaqueline said: “I would like to thank the Specsavers team for helping me that day and getting in touch with me after the incident.

“I am now suffering from memory loss after my surgery three years ago and the only memory I have of that day is my eye exam and waking up three days later.

“Nowadays I mostly stay at home as it is much safer for me if I have a seizure and fall. Therefore, these services are invaluable to me.

“I want to raise awareness of the benefits of first aid as I feel like the team really saved my life and things could have been very different had they not been there.”

Charlotte visited Jacqueline and her partner, Louise, at their home days after they were discharged from the hospital to make sure they were both okay, and got Jacqueline’s glasses off the check-up that took place before the incident. As a thank you for their heroic efforts, Charlotte and her team were greeted with two bouquets of flowers. The Specsavers York team save a woman from Harrogate after suffering a seizure

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