A quick-thinking care worker saved a man’s life on what was supposed to be a routine home visit.
Sophie Hopkins, who works for Cleckheaton firm Vista Home Care Services, was visiting dialysis patient Karl Halliwell, at his home in Mirfield, when he accidentally burst a surgical fistula on his arm.
He said: “If it wasn’t for Sophie, I probably wouldn’t be here today. It was bleeding very badly, but she knew exactly what to do.”
Dialysis fistulas are surgically created links between an artery and vein through which a patient can be treated with haemodialysis.
Karl’s fistula had become swollen in recent weeks and he was told to keep an eye on it by doctors.
But, when Karl accidentally hit the fistula, it burst, causing massive bleeding. Karl then went into a seizure.
Luckily, Sophie was on hand to help to stop the bleeding and dress the wound. She stayed with Karl until an ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
Karl said: “I am just so grateful that she was there because I am sure I would have been dead otherwise.”
Despite the dramatic turn of events, Sophie still had another appointment after the ambulance came for Karl, and feared the worst until she was told Karl was okay later that evening.
Sophie, who had only been in the job for six months, added: “I was over the moon when I found out Karl was okay.
“I love my job and this is the reason I got into doing work like this.
“Karl had even got me a bunch of flowers to say ‘thank you’.”