AN OFF-DUTY Police Community Support Officer saved the life of a pensioner who had stopped breathing during a church service.
Battle PCSO Demi Georghiou was attending a morning church service at St Mary Magdalen in St Leonards on January 25 when he heard a commotion at the front of the congregation.
He saw a man slumped in his seat and not breathing.
Without hesitation, Demi lifted the man’s head, cleared his airway and started to do compressions while another member of the congregation called an ambulance.
Demi continued to perform CPR and continued to talk to the unconscious man until he was resuscitated before rolling him into the recovery position and offering reassuring words for the man’s distressed wife until the ambulance arrived.
The man, Neofitos Petri, 87, from St Leonards, had suffered a bad reaction to some medication he had taken earlier.
He was rushed to hospital by paramedics for treatment.
Afterwards Demi said: “The training and experience which I have gained as a police community support officer gave me the confidence to instinctively take control of the situation and conduct the procedures to resuscitate Mr Petri.
“I am so pleased that he is out of hospital and is recovering well at home with his wife, and I look forward to seeing him back at church soon.”
Mr Petri said: “I am hugely grateful to PCSO Georghiou for what he did for me, if it wasn’t for him I would not be here”.
Chief Inspector Warren Franklin, Rother district commander, said: “Demi Georghiou is an excellent ambassador for Sussex Police and there is no greater achievement than saving someone’s life.
“Demi, like countless colleagues, provides this commitment both on and off duty and is a credit to the community and the police.
“I wish Mr Petri a full recovery and am so glad there has been a really positive impact made by Demi.”