Jo Stanley promotes the importance of CPR after saving partner’s life

15 October 2021

Jo Stanley with a Pillow Partner CPR training aid

Jo Stanley with a Pillow Partner CPR training aid

Learning CPR gave Jo Stanley the skills and confidence she needed to save her partner’s life when he collapsed unexpectedly.

Fifty-two-year-old marathon runner Nigel Bradbury suffered a cardiac arrest late one night at their home in Thornes, Wakefield, and Jo immediately knew it was serious.

She called 999 and started CPR, supported on the phone by Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Emergency Medical Dispatcher Amanda Hare until the ambulance team arrived to take over the life-saving efforts.

The father-of-two was unresponsive for 40 minutes and received 10 shocks from a defibrillator before starting to show signs of life.

Jo, who has annual resuscitation training as part of her role as an Endoscopy Supervisor in the Flexible Scoping Decontamination Unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, explained: “It all feels quite surreal now. The 999 call taker was amazing, I couldn’t have done it without her, and the paramedics were out of this world.

“It turns out Nigel has cardiomyopathy induced by arrhythmia and he’s had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted. It all happened without any warning so it was such a surprise to us because everyone regards Nigel as one of the fittest, slimmest people they know. But it’s because he’s so fit that he’s recovered so well.”

Jo Stanley with her partner Nigel Bradbury

Jo Stanley with her partner Nigel Bradbury

Since the incident in December 2020, Jo has been encouraging others to learn the life-saving skill by providing family, friends and colleagues with Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s new CPR training aid, the Pillow Partner. These are pillowcases printed with a torso and basic CPR instructions so people can practise hands-only CPR.

She added: “My step-daughter and others commented that they wouldn’t have known what to do in that situation so when I saw the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Pillow Partners advertised on Facebook, I ordered a few and, as the word spread, I have ordered more - probably over 100 now!

“They are great, there are four basic steps written on the pillow case which are just perfect. Doing basic training will give people the skills and confidence to step in and potentially save someone’s life; I can’t emphasise how important that is.”

Amanda, who is based in the YAS Emergency Operations Centre in Wakefield, said: “This was one call that really stuck with me, and I was so happy it was a positive outcome for the family. Jo was amazing on the call under such horrible circumstances and did everything I asked of her. What Jo is doing now to make more people aware of the importance of CPR is really positive. CPR really does saves lives and every second counts. The Pillow Partners are such a good way to spread awareness; CPR is a skill everyone should know.”

Since the Pillow Partners were launched in February, Yorkshire Ambulance Service has received orders for thousands of the training aids from as far away as Nigeria. The Trust has been asked if its design can be used to teach CPR in South Africa, Sri Lanka and Finland.

There is a suggested donation of £2 per Pillow Partner to help recover some of the costs of producing the training aid, and to cover administration and postage. Any surplus monies raised will be used by Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity which enhances the work of Yorkshire Ambulance Service by providing life-saving first aid training and public access defibrillators to communities. Pillow Partners can be ordered by emailing