AN AIRBUS employee who saved his partner’s life has been presented with an award for using the techniques he learned at work weeks before she had a cardiac arrest.

Ben Jones, from Holywell, a primary operator at Airbus Broughton, received the British Heart Foundation’s first ever Heart Hero awards at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.

Less than a month after he went to a CPR session (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) run by an Airbus colleague on a work break, he was called on to use his skills for real when his partner, Kayleigh Jones, collapsed at home.

Medics say Ben’s actions saved Kayleigh’s life and his efforts were awarded in front of hundreds of people at a ceremony hosted by Sky News anchor Kay Burley and.” attended by England goalkeeper David Seaman and pop legend Shakin’ Stevens.

Kay Burley said: “It’s a real privilege to be able to celebrate and say thank you to those who have worked tirelessly to support the British Heart Foundation and individuals who have shown true bravery in the face of adversity.”

Awards were given to those who had shown remarkable bravery or had gone above and beyond to help others.

Winners included healthcare professionals, children battling life-threatening conditions, heart surgery survivors, fundraisers and others like Ben who have displayed courage by administering CPR.

“It was a brilliant night – a bit of an eye-opener, and quite emotional,” said Ben. “It was great to meet cardiac arrest survivors and other people who had given CPR and saved lives.

“A lot of the work goes on behind the scenes with fundraising and raising awareness.”

Ben said: “I’d done some first aid training a few years before but thought it would be good to refresh my memory. It was just a short course held during a break at work, so myself and few others went along. At the time it felt like good fun and I don’t think any of us really thought we would ever have to use it.”

Speaking about his partner, Ben said: “We had been to a family birthday party on a Friday night and Kayleigh said she’d had some palpitations, but she put it down to having too much fizzy drink and we didn’t think any more of it.

“Then, on the Saturday evening, our two young children were in bed and we had settled down to watch TV when Kayleigh just collapsed on the sofa.

“It was quite sudden. There had been no warning signs and I had no idea what was happening.

“I thought she might be having a fit so I put her in the recovery position. I noticed she had stopped breathing and I immediately called for an ambulance.”

Ben said although he was in a complete panic, the operator talked him through what to do and what to check for. She said he had to do CPR and asked if he knew what to do. Ben said once he started, everything he had been taught came back to him.

He said: “It was the longest few minutes of my life but I knew I had to keep going. The operator was incredible, she did a brilliant job of keeping me focused.”

Kayley was then taken to hospital in an ambulance where she was put in an induced coma for 48 hours. She stayed there for two weeks and underwent surgery to fit a defibrillator implant, and began the long road to recovery. Eighteen months on, with the support of medics and family, Ben said she is now doing very well and is due to return to her job as a creche worker.

Since the night of Kayleigh’s collapse there have been no more serious health scares and Ben hasn’t been called to perform CPR – at home or at work.

He added: “If you have the opportunity to do a CPR course, it doesn’t take long and you should make time for it. I’m so thankful that I did.”