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Off duty student nurse saves man's life

23rd May 2019

 A Northumbria University student nurse has helped to save a man’s life on her way into University.

Anica Gray was driving to Coach Lane Campus when she saw a man who had collapsed unconscious by the side of the road. Acting fast, she pulled over to rush to his aid and immediately started to implement the life-saving techniques and knowledge she had learnt throughout her degree.

A team of firefighters from the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were close by and called for police and paramedics whilst assisting Anica, who was first at the scene.

Anica and the fire brigade worked together to deliver the basic protocol for life support, which Anica had learned during her studies just a few weeks earlier.  The team were able to keep the man alive until paramedics arrived on the scene. They stabilised him and took him to hospital to continue his care, and commended Anica for the role she had played in helping to save the man’s life.

After hearing about her actions, Anica was praised by her tutors for playing a leadership role in co-ordinating life-saving, compassionate care, and for her confidence in controlling the situation until paramedics arrived.  

As part of her Adult Nursing course, Anica had recently been on placement in a critical care unit where she had practiced these skills. However, responding to an emergency on a normal day without any warning to prepare herself, made her realise how far she had come since beginning her degree two years ago. 

“I would not have been able to put my skills into practice without the knowledge I had gained from Northumbria University. I was able to work alongside the fire rescue service and as a team we were very calm and organised. I felt confident and proud with my work and involvement in saving a man’s life.” she said.

Professor Alison Machin, Head of Department for Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Northumbria University, said: “We are very proud of Anica.  As well as using her recently learned life-saving CPR skills, she acted in a highly professional manner, was calm under pressure and displayed excellent interprofessional team-working skills. To be able to effectively apply her knowledge to practice and manage this experience whilst still a student is outstanding. I’m sure the future will hold great things for Anica when she graduates next year”.

Northumbria University’s Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, has an international reputation for delivering high quality, research rich, clinical skills teaching to prepare nursing graduates who are highly valued by NHS and other healthcare employers. For more information on nursing courses at Northumbria, visit

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