LIFESAVER: Tregeagle farmer, Austin Curtin was one of five people who's knowledge of CPR saved the life of former Lismore surgeon Bill Buddee, when the man was found unconscious in his car.
LIFESAVER: Tregeagle farmer, Austin Curtin was one of five people who's knowledge of CPR saved the life of former Lismore surgeon Bill Buddee, when the man was found unconscious in his car. Facebook, Austin Curtin

Slumped over the steering wheel, CPR saves surgeon's life

YOU never know when your knowledge of CPR will be needed to save a life.

Around 5.30pm on Monday, when Tregeagle farmer and State National's candidate Austin Curtin was driving home from picking up one of his children from day-care, he found out.

Mr Curtin came across a friend, former Lismore surgeon Dr Bill Buddee AOM, unconscious in his vehicle on Rous Rd, Tregeagle.

"I was surprised and a little bit shocked," Mr Curtin said.

"It did not look like there was a lot of hope for Bill when I opened the door, but then Gavin Tulk turned up, he was cool-headed when he called Triple-0 and the operator was great."

Mr Austin said he was grateful how the team which comprised Mr Tulk, Greg (who's surname they did not catch), Anne McHugh a nurse at St Vincent's Hospital and Cabbage Tree Island school principal Juanita Thomson, all worked together.

"Everyone helped, we all swapped around doing CPR," he said.

"And full credit to the paramedics, they did a remarkable job."

Katherine Peck said she and her family will be forever grateful to Mr Curtin, who was first on the scene.

"Dad was driving home and Austin stopped his four-wheel drive because he saw a car off the side of the road and thought it needed a tow, because he saw the wheels spinning," she said.

"He noticed the driver slumped and the car engine going."

Ms Peck said Mr Curtin sprang into action.

"Austin commenced CPR immediately and another person rang triple 000," Ms Peck said.

"That CPR was commenced immediately categorically saved his life."

Ms Peck said it was wonderful everyone who stopped to assist all had some degree of CPR knowledge.

She said her father was revived at the scene by the ambulance officers.

"He was then taken to Lismore Base (Hospital) and they put him on life support," she said.

"Dad was then transferred to John Flynn Hospital on the Gold Coast where he is making a good recovery after having an angiogram.

"Austin was the first on scene. His father, who is also a surgeon, said when he got there, he 'found five people so organised with CPR, there was nothing I needed to do'," she said.


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