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Good Samaritans honoured for saving life of Langley heart attack victim

Five people pulled a cyclist out of a ditch in South Langley and gave him CPR
BCEHS honoured five lifesavers who aided a man having a heart attack. From left are paramedic Brian Twaites, and rescuers Gary and Jacqueline Aulakh with their daughter, Gina and Brian Hewson, and Connor Lyons, with paramedics Maria Cirstea, Mathew Leslie, and John Semple. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Five Langley residents who pulled a heart attack victim out of a ditch and gave him CPR two years ago were honoured for their lifesaving work by BC Emergency Health Services on Thursday.

Connor Lyons, Gina and Brian Hewson, and Jacqueline and Gary Aulakh gathered at the ambulance station on 48th Avenue in Murrayville to receive Vital Link awards.

On March 4, 2020, 70-year-old Carmelo Deseta crashed off the road when a cardiac arrest struck him during a bike ride on 8th Avenue in South Langley.

The Aulakhs, the Hewsons, and Lyons were all passerby who stopped, finding Deseta face-down in the water.

They worked together to pull him out, unclip him from his bike, and administer CPR.

“Our patient had a chance for survival because all of our recipients reacted so quickly,” said Brian Twaites, a BCEHS paramedic specialist.

Deseta was stabilized in the ambulance and rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital.

Twaites noted that there are many links in the “chain of survival” for people who had a serious heart attack, and these people formed the first of those links.

“We were thankful to be a small part of that day,” said Gary Aulakh.

Deseta reached out to those who had helped him after the incident to say thank you, but he wasn’t able to be at the event on Thursday, Nov. 24.

READ MORE: Langley heart attack survivor thanks Good Samaritans who saved his life

READ MORE: VIDEO: Cyclist airlifted to hospital after incident in South Langley

Twaites encouraged everyone to learn CPR.

Handing out the awards were Matthew Leslie and Maria Cirstea, two of the paramedics who responded to the emergency call.

Langley Township firefighters, a number of paramedics, and an Air Ambulance crew all worked to get the patient to the hospital and keep him alive, Twaites noted.

The Vital Link awards ceremony has been delayed for more than two years because of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns that started just after the incident.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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