Rob Cullen from Melbourne, Australia, received a Certificate of Commendation from Matthew Barclay, Australia’s Consul-General in Phuket, last week for his efforts.
“Rob’s actions were phenomenal – he is an absolute hero. It fills me with a lot of pride as an Australian to share in Rob’s story and chat to him about his quick thinking and critical care for a complete stranger,” Mr Barclay said.
Rob and his wife Deb had just left Molly Malone’s on the Patong beach road at about 9:30pm last Tuesday (Aug 2) when they saw the British man had collapsed on the footpath.
The fellow tourist was unresponsive.
Rob sprung into action using the CPR skills he learned as part of his work back home and through sheer determination managed to revive the person and maintain their vital signs before emergency services could arrive, Mr Barlcay explained.
“Rob says he didn’t think twice about assisting and just did what needed to be done,” he said.
Rob persisted with his efforts for 15 minutes until the British man, later confirmed to be 73 years old, started breathing on his own, explained Wal Brown, a long-time expat who has worked with the police volunteer programme in Patong and the International Liaison Volunteer Program supporting the Region 8 Police.
“He just kept going until the man started breathing again, which happened before the ambulance arrived,” Mr Brown noted.
Ambulance medics said the British man had suffered a heart attack and rushed him to Patong Hospital. The man was later transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket Town.
Mr Brown also highly praised Mr Cullen’s efforts.
“I couldn’t speak of it more highly. Police volunteers always have to be prepared for incidents like this, but it’s great when people take the initiative themselves,” he said.
“Rob’s actions alone can inspire other people to jump in and maybe save a life themselves,” Mr Brown added.
Mr Cullen undergoing repeated emergency resuscitation training every two to three years was likely crucial to saving the British man’s life, Mr Brown noted.
“It kept his skills sharp and Rob did not hesitate in putting them to use,” he said.