Humble former nurse saved cyclist's life

06:36, Jul 03 2014
paul mathews
SAVED BY STRANGER: Paul Mathews wants to thank the person who he feels saved his life after he had an epileptic seizure on Colombo St at the weekend.

A former nurse quietly going about his business on a Saturday afternoon saved a Christchurch man's life and went on his way.

Paul Mathews, 63, has been looking for the man who gave him CPR after he had a seizure and fell off his bike about 4.30pm on Saturday.

The full-time Salvation Army volunteer woke up in Christchurch Hospital about four hours later with no idea how he got there.

"I was at a conference at the church and left at 4pm. I went to the supermarket, got a few groceries, hopped on my bike to get home and that is when it happened," he said.

"I was unconscious and woke up in hospital at about 8.30pm. I must have had a seizure. I believe it was an epileptic fit."

Mathews said a stranger gave him CPR until a St John ambulance crew arrived.


Then they disappeared.

"I would like to meet the person and, from the bottom of my heart, say 'thank you'. He obviously knew what he was doing''

Professor Simon Kingham, of the University of Canterbury, got in touch with The Press yesterday and outed his ''humble'' friend Wayne Cumming.

Kingham said Cumming, a former nurse, told him about what he had done on Sunday before heading off on holiday. 

''He said he saw this guy on the road and lots of people standing around not knowing what to do. He tested the vital signs, which made him decide to do CPR. He could not find a pulse.''

Kingham said his friend had a plastic face mask handy so he was able to give Mathews mouth to mouth.

When an ambulance crew arrived he ''just carried on to where he was going'', he said.

''He just sort of told me by the by, as though, 'This is what I did on Saturday'. He is a very quiet, humble, nice guy.'' 

The Press