Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet
Search type

Off-duty student nurse’s quick-thinking saves motorist’s life

06 Aug 2014

A quick-thinking student nurse has saved the life of a motorist after his car veered off the road and crashed into a pub wall

Off-duty Natasha Daysh, who is studying to be a nurse at The University of Manchester, had gone for a late lunch at the Didsbury Pub with a friend in Manchester. They were sitting outside when they heard a loud bang as the car crashed into a lamp post and the side wall of the pub.

The 22-year-old, who lives in Fallowfield, rushed to the scene where the driver had collapsed at the wheel and a baby was crying in the back of the vehicle. 

Natasha’s three-year degree training quickly clicked into action as she examined the baby before resuscitating the driver and assisting paramedics until an air ambulance could be scrambled.

“I remember sitting outside enjoying the sunshine, then a bang and then people rushing over to the car which was on its side with smoke coming out,” said Natasha, who is originally from Poole in Dorset. “Someone called out asking if anyone was medically trained and having taken my hippocractic oath at University – where members of the medical profession pledge to help others –I felt responsible so rushed over. I raised my voice to tell people I was medically trained and asked people to allow me space while others called the ambulance service.

“The driver was unconscious and needed urgent assistance. Before I could do anything I witnessed a couple of men remove him from the car and then someone else brought a baby boy out from the back seat. I assessed the baby and found although emotionally distressed he was physically fine so turned my attention to the driver. A young woman was also pulled from the car with leg and arm injuries.

“The driver was turning purple so I asked people to keep back and used to CPR to resuscitate him. A doctor passing by was able to provide me with oxygen which I placed on the patient at high flow. I was there with him for six to eight minutes while the land ambulance arrived. 

“I kept the patient’s airways open by placing a device known as a oropharyngeal airway – a small tool to assist with providing oxygen. I also restricted his mobility and ensured his neck and spinal cord were stabilised.”

The quick-thinking student, who placed herself near the smoking car and knelt on broken glass to carry out the treatment, also took details of the patient’s medical history and allergies from a passenger which she passed onto paramedics arriving at the scene. She worked with them until an air ambulance could fly the man to the Wythenshawe Hospital (UHSM).

Natasha was praised for her actions by Lucy Draper, Community Staff Nurse for Abbey Hey District Nurses where she had been on placement. 

Staff nurse Draper said: “Both myself and my colleagues are in no doubt that had she not commenced CPR, the gentleman would have died before the paramedics arrived. This was an incredible act demonstrating courage and quick thinking by Natasha.”

Professor Karen Luker, Head of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, said: “We are extremely proud that Natasha has been able to use her training in the heat of the moment and acted quickly and effectively to save this man’s life. To save a life before you have even graduated is extremely impressive and I have no doubt that Natasha will excel in her nursing career.”

The accident took place on Sunday 22 June. Natasha is due to be formally recognised by the University when she graduates in December.