Please get trained in first aid, says widow
THE wife of a motorcyclist fatally injured in a crash says the first aid skills of a passing stranger gave her time to say goodbye.
Mum Nicci Hazel, 37, was one of about 50 people who attended a free Child Lifesaver training course on Thursday organised by the News - and wants everyone to know how to help in an emergency.
Her husband Stephen Hazel, 36, was given chest compressions by passing driver Kim Campbell, who saw him being knocked from his motorcycle.
This kept Mr Hazel alive and enabled his wife and three daughters to go to the hospital to see him before he died.
Mrs Hazel - who met her husband when they were at Garth Hill College and was with him for 16 years - said: "If it hadn't been for his brain injuries, she would have saved his life because she kept his heart going. She gave us a chance to see him before he died.
"We had an hour or two with him to say goodbye and he just slowly slipped away."
Mr Hazel, a motorcyclist of 20 years' experience and a former instructor, was driving home to Bracknell from work as a lighting designer in Egham on June 30, 2010, along the A30 in Virginia Water when a taxi driver pulled out across his path. The driver was later convicted of causing death by careless driving.
Mrs Campbell, a former air hostess trained in first aid, had been collecting her daughter from a first aid class when she saw the crash, and rushed to help. She also stopped other passers-by from removing Mr Hazel's helmet because of the risk of disturbing neck or spinal injuries and potentially causing paralysis. Mr Hazel was taken to Frimley Park Hospital, still alive but unconscious.
Police went to the Hazels' home address, where their children were being looked after by Nicci's mother at the time. Officers went to pick Mrs Hazel up from work and took her to the hospital and she was joined by the couple's three daughters - Eddie-Jay, now 13, Lola, eight, and Nancy, six.
A consultant told Mrs Hazel that her husband had severe head, neck and spinal injuries, and would not survive.
Mrs Hazel thanked Mrs Campbell, the paramedics and hospital staff, and encouraged everyone to learn first aid. She said: "You never ever know when you are going to need it, either for a loved one of your own or a stranger.
"How will you feel if you're put in that situation and you can't do anything, you just stand there watching someone's life ebb away?"
She attended the latest fully-booked Child Lifesaver course for parents and carers, sponsored by Bracknell-based pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and run by St John Ambulance.
In a separate initiative backed by the News, Boehringer sponsors a St John Ambulance worker to run first aid courses in schools. There are courses for all ages and a nominal fee for use of equipment - call St John Ambulance on 0118 933 5514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Mrs Hazel said: "I think the courses are brilliant. If we were all walking around first aid trained, there could be so many lives saved."
* Mr Hazel had an In Case of Emergency (ICE) number stored in his phone but the screen was locked so paramedics could not access it. Mrs Hazel urges other motorcyclists to make ICE their screensaver or have a helmet ID card.