A 21 YEAR old who saved a stranger’s life by using the skills she learned as a schoolgirl during Restart a Heart Day four years ago returned to her former school today to talk about the importance of learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

And joining Martha Hogg at Skipton Girls High School for this year’s Restart a Heart Day was the man she saved, Keith Procter and his partner, Kathy Connolly, who live in Ilkley.

Martha, the first Restart a Heart student in Yorkshire known to have saved someone’s life, was working at Café Nero in Skipton during a break from studying psychology at university earlier this year, when Keith, who was in the cafe at the time, collapsed in cardiac arrest.

She quickly recognised the seriousness of the emergency and started performing CPR which she had learned at her school on Restart a Heart Day in 2015.

Thanks to her life-saving actions, 71-year-old Keith has made a great recovery and is keen to promote the importance of initiatives like Restart a Heart Day when Yorkshire Ambulance Service visits 165 secondary schools to provide CPR training to around 40,000 young people.

Keith said: “For Martha to have done the training at school four years ago and performed CPR so well that she saved my life is quite incredible and is testimony to Martha as a person and to all those who work hard to give people these life-saving skills. Martha will always be our special angel; she should feel so proud of herself and I won’t ever be able to thank her, or the ambulance staff, enough.

“It’s so much easier to retain information when you are young so to teach young people this life-saving skill is vital and Martha is living proof of that.”

Martha, who was staying with her parents Angela and Paul, who live in Cononley, said: “I did the basic checks and realised Keith had suffered a cardiac arrest so my colleague Vickie called 999 and the CPR training I had received at school all clicked into place. I am so grateful to Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Skipton Girls’ High School for giving me the skills that I needed to save Keith’s life.”

Ambulance clinicians took over the life-saving efforts when they arrived on scene and used a defibrillator three times to shock Keith’s heart into a normal rhythm. He was taken to Airedale General Hospital where he had an internal defibrillator fitted.

Chrissy Blakeley, a Community Defibrillation Trainer with YAS taught Martha CPR in 2015 and returned to the school yesterday to provide the training to 144 more students.

She said: “We know that what happens in the first few moments of a patient suffering a cardiac arrest is crucial. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that one of our Restart a Heart Day students has gone on to use her CPR training to save someone’s life. That just sums up why it’s so important for us to do what we do every year and why everyone should learn this vital skill.”

Fiona McMillan, Deputy Headteacher at Skipton Girls’ High School, said: “The Restart a Heart campaign has meant that over the last five years all our students have had CPR training and the opportunity to refresh this skill year-on-year. To discover that our ex-student Martha had the confidence to ‘have a go’ when she found herself in the situation and that she kept the patient alive until the ambulance arrived is amazing. For this reason, we will continue to support Restart a Heart Day each year.”