Australian ‘guardian angel’ saves life of Clitheroe woman

ANNE MUSSON: pictured with her trademark hat
ANNE MUSSON: pictured with her trademark hat

A WELL-KNOWN local personality found an unlikely saviour when a visitor from across the globe saved her life.

In a dramatic incident, Mrs Anne Musson collapsed in Moor Lane, Clitheroe, after suffering a heart attack. Fortunately Australian high school teacher Mrs Trudy Miller (35) was in the vicinity and performed life-saving CPR.

“Something that could have been such a tragedy turned out to be a miracle,” reflected 72-year-old Mrs Musson.

“Without Trudy I wouldn’t be here today, and I am just so grateful each morning when I get up.”

Now recovering from life-saving quintuple bypass surgery, Mrs Musson is keen to express her gratitude to her “guardian angel”.

And at the weekend, Mrs Musson and her family presented Trudy with a key ring commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012, which had been engraved with “11.11.11”, the day Trudy saved her life.

“We had a lovely time and it was amazing listening to everyone talk about what had happened,” said Mrs Musson.

“Since my heart attack I’ve received 149 cards, which is really quite humbling. It’s a real example of community spirit.”

Both teachers in Australia, Trudy and her husband Adam were in the Ribble Valley with their children as part of a one year “work holiday” in England and Europe. Trudy has been teaching at schools across the country, including St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington, while in the Ribble Valley.

But it is her experience of working for the State Emergency Service (NSW), a voluntary rescue group in Australia, which qualified first aider Trudy drew on when Mrs Musson collapsed. Trudy explained that her experience of rescue situations helped her to stay calm, even though it was the first time she has performed CPR. “Instinct just kicked in,” she told the Clitheroe Advertiser.

She added: “Mrs Musson is such a strong spirited woman. She wasn’t ready to go, she clearly has things left to do”.

Despite Trudy’s vital intervention, Mrs Musson was still in a critical condition – the chance of survival for someone who has gone into cardiac arrest and received CPR is a slender 5%. She was subsequently rushed to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where her condition was stabilised, and from there she was transferred to Blackpool Victoria where she underwent the life saving surgery.