‘All I can say is, get your first aid course done’ says Good Samaritan who helped save father’s life in Tring


A trained first aider who saved the life of a heart-attack victim is encouraging others to take a live-saving course as a new year’s resolution.

Vivienne Riches Cestrone – who works at ForgetMeNots pre-school at Tring Community Centre – rushed to Darren Miles’ aid with friend Bren Mason when he complained of feeling unwell after dropping off his two-year-old son.

Vivienne, 37, said: “Darren looked in pain, so we tried to get him to come into the pre-school and sit down but he said he needed some fresh air. The next thing I knew, he’d collapsed outside. It all happened so quickly.”

The pre-school assistant – who is only trained in paediatric first aid – laid the father-of-one on his back and checked his airways for signs of breathing, before Bren carried out chest compressions.

Vivienne said: “Until we knew he’d got to hospital and had been put on life support, we thought he might not make it. All I can say is, he had his guardian angels looking over him that day. It wasn’t his time to go.”

Doctors discovered that Darren had suffered a massive heart attack and had a blood clot behind his heart, leading them to put in two stents before inducing a coma.

He has since improved and the family were overjoyed after Darren – a well-known face in the Tring who goes by the nickname of Bubbles – was discharged from hospital on December 22. It was an extra-special Christmas as doctors had said Darren wouldn’t be at home for the big day.

A relieved Vivienne said: “I’ve never experienced anything like it before in my life. I would say, go out and get your first aid training because you never know when you might need it. I’m just so pleased that Darren is OK.”

Darren’s brother David said: “The doctors have told him to take it easy, which frustrates him. He’s been told to avoid anything stressful. From what my mum told me, Darren wouldn’t let go of his son when he saw him.”

Darren’s sister Shelley said: “Darren is doing well. He’s still not the same old person but is getting there slowly. Quite a few people – myself included – would like to do a first aid course now, so I think its definitely a good idea.”

To enrol on a first aid training course with St John’s Ambulance, click here.

Courses with the Red Cross are also available here.