Family saves three lives in four years after harrowing death shocks them into action

A family who trained in CPR after witnessing a tragedy have saved three lives in four years.

Mel Sharp, 40, and partner Stuart Fairclough, 46, were shocked into action when an employee died at their family firm five years ago.

Their enthusiasm now spans three generations as daughter Leah, 14, demonstrates CPR for schoolchildren.

Mel’s mum Catherine, 65, has saved a life too.

Mel said: “It started when a friend and coll­­eague of ours collapsed at the holiday village while at work in 2016.

“Stuart started CPR but then had to get my son, Steven, aged 15 at the time, to continue with CPR to allow him to go and raise the alarm and call for an ambulance. Unfortunately, he did not survive.

“This prompted me to start fundraising for a defibrillator for the caravan park.

“All the static owners and local community raised money and we worked with the charity Lucky 2 B Here to house a defibrillator on the wall of the clubhouse building.”

Mel found herself using the device at Burrowhead Holiday Village, Dumfries and Galloway, shortly after it was installed in 2017.

She explained: “Stuart’s ex-mother-in-law, Jan Lowther, visited the park and collapsed only metres from the defibrillator.

“Luckily I was nearby and started immediate CPR.

“The defib was applied and a shock administered.

“Early CPR and early defibrillation saved her life.”

The next incident came two years later.

Mel added: “Steven was picking up a takeaway when he heard shouts for help after a young man collapsed on the street.

“A local GP was nearby at the time, and Steven took over CPR to allow the GP to call for an ambulance and retrieve a defibrillator and oxygen that he had in his car, and he survived.”

And the third life saved was last month, on Lake Windermere.

Mel said: “My mother was a lifeguard at the Great North Swim and found a gentleman had stopped breathing.

“He was pulled on to the boat and my mother performed CPR as the rescue boat sped to shore and the waiting medical team.

“The young man was airlifted to hospital and he survived. I’m very proud.

“I got a commendation from the Royal Lifesaving Society and my mum will now as well.”

Mel now wants lifesaving to be taught in schools.

She said: “People think it won’t happen to them but take a look at us.

“Other than our daughter Leah, we have all had to do it for real.

“Leah hopes she never has to complete the family CPR path but has had training and is highly proficient.”