A brave young woman with learning disabilities who dramatically saved her stricken support worker’s life in Market Harborough is thrilled after winning a prestigious hero award.
Rosie Ford, 26, leapt straight into action after Clare Lovell-Taylor-Haines, 53, suddenly collapsed in front of her at her supported accommodation on Lathkill Street.
Fast-thinking Rosie immediately comforted the seriously ill mum-of-five before dashing next door to raise the alarm.
Clare was quickly rushed to Kettering General Hospital by ambulance – and was given a lifesaving heart pacemaker just 24 hours later.
Today Rosie said: “I’m just so delighted and above all so proud of myself that I saved Clare’s life.
“It really was a life and death drama.
“It’s a day I’ll never forget as long as I live,” she said.
“I just feel so honoured to have been in the right place at the right time so that I could save Clare that day.
“And I’m very proud to have been given this local hero’s award.”
The drama blew up on the afternoon of Sunday May 16 last year.
Clare, who works for Freedom Support Solutions at their Lathkill Street base, was doing a special one-to-one session with Clare at her home that day.
“I popped out to see my friends in town.
“But on the way there something told me that there was something wrong with Clare,” recalls Rosie.
“It was just like a sixth sense telling me I had to go back to see her.
“I can’t explain what came over me.
“We were together in the kitchen just a short while later when Clare just collapsed to the floor in front of me, she just fell down.
“I was very shocked but I was also very brave,” said Rosie, as she relived those terrible moments eight months ago.
“I stayed calm and I got down to Clare’s level.
“I spoke to her to make sure she was OK.
“I then went next door to tell them and ask them to call an ambulance.
“The ambulance came and Clare was stretchered out and taken to hospital in Kettering,” said Rosie.
“I’m just so pleased that I acted as quickly as I did and got her the help she needed because it was very dramatic.
“And it’s great that Clare’s recovered and is back at work now.
“I was so proud to win the hero’s award at Rushden Lakes, I never expected that!
“It means the world to me.
“Clare’s a lovely lady and she’s such a big character in my life.
“She’s like family to me – and she’d have done the same for me.
“We have such a great bond now, I help to look after her, and she’ll be such a close friend of mine for ever,” added Rosie.
Saluting Rosie, Clare told the Mail: “I’ll always be so grateful to Rosie - she saved my life.
“It doesn’t come any bigger than that.
“It might have been a very different story if she hadn’t come back early that afternoon.
“Rosie had only been out for about 15 minutes when she came back, she said she wanted to spend more time with me.
“We were both in the kitchen preparing dinner when I suddenly passed out,” said Clare, of Broughton, near Kettering.
“It’s all a bit of a blur as you can imagine.
“But Rosie was talking to me to make sure I was OK after getting down on to the floor with me.
“She was very calm, cool and collected.
“Rosie then said she was going to get help.
“I was taken by ambulance to A&E at Kettering General.
“I passed out another four or five times while I was there.
“I had a very low heart rate and it was very scary,” said Clare, who’s worked for Freedom Support for three years.
“I was on oxygen and it was so stressful, it was terrifying.
“The NHS medics were brilliant and they operated on me and gave me a heart pacemaker the next day.
“It was very traumatising and I was off work recovering for six months before managing to go back in November,” said Clare.
“But I don’t know what I’d have done if Rosie hadn’t returned early, I dread to think about it.
“I might not have survived.
“So I’ll be eternally grateful to her.
“I found out about the Rushden Lakes hero award and put Rosie up for it.
“I was amazed but so overjoyed when she won it.
“I kept it a secret and took Rosie there to shop – so she was so shocked when she was presented with the award,” smiled Clare.
“She was given a bottle of champagne and so many shopping vouchers, we had a smashing time.
“Rosie was so ecstatic she told staff at every shop we went into that she’d won!
“She really is my little guardian angel protecting me and we’ll share an unbreakable bond for the rest of our lives.”
Rosie’s elated mum Sarah Hurst, 55, said: “I can’t put into words just how proud we all are of Rosie.
“She showed such courage and coolness to react as quickly and smartly as she did.
“This sort of medical drama would have tested any one of us.
“So for Rosie, who has moderate learning difficulties and suffers anxiety as well, to act straight away to save Clare’s life is simply phenomenal,” said Sarah, of Kibworth Harcourt.
“We’ll never know what inner voice told Rosie to go home early to see Clare, it was weird – but thank goodness she did.
“Rosie’s such a caring, compassionate, friendly girl – there’s not a bad bone in her body,” said Sarah, who also has a son Tom, 31, and daughter Jess, 28.
“Freedom Support are so good for her, she’d struggle without them.
“It’s just so good that she’s been able to do this amazing thing for them and for Clare as well.
“We all love Rosie to bits – everyone needs a Rosie in their lives!”
Marie Norman, who set up Freedom Support in Market Harborough in 2011, said: “I can’t tell you how proud we all are here of Rosie.
“It’s not always an easy job but it’s so rewarding and fulfilling for us to work with wonderful young people like Rosie.
“They give so much to our community here in Market Harborough,” said Marie.
“And for Rosie to act so magnificently to help save our support worker Clare that day beggars belief.
“She was just amazing.
“Rosie wholeheartedly deserves the hero award she’s been given.
“And we are just so relieved and pleased as well to have Clare back at work with us after this astonishing drama.”