Family forever grateful to Bulli train attendant whose CPR saved a life

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

https://www.illawarramercury.com.au


Bulli train station attendant Adam Hassett breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the blue hue fade back to normal from a passenger’s face.

He was exhausted after having performed CPR on the unconscious man for a couple of minutes.

His actions saved the life of Bulli resident and regular train passenger, 78-year-old Jimmy Sibraa.


Mr Sibraa’s daughter Bettina Edward-Vbetkovski can not thank the humble Mr Hassett enough.

“We were told every minute counted,” she said. “Dad’s heart was not beating.

“My first instinct was to find the man who saved my father’s life.

“I want to thank Mr Hassett. He doesn’t realise what a difference his actions have made to our lives.”

Mr Sibraa is stable but on life-support.

“Adam’s actions meant we could have some extra time with Dad,” Mrs Edward-Vbetkovski said. “It meant we didn’t get a call saying he was gone.”

She said the time had brought her and her brother Darren Sibraa closer and gave family members and friends the chance to mend fences.

The Berkeley resident believes her father was likely travelling into Sydney to have a coffee and lunch when he collapsed on the platform.

“Dad travels on the train from Bulli all the time,” she said. “He loves it.”

Wollongong’s Mr Hassett said last Monday was a very hot day. Mr Sibraa was being sun conscious by wearing a hat, carrying water and he had a towel around his neck.

“Mr Sibraa was standing under the shade on the other side of the platform,” the customer service attendant said.

“I was doing the dishes then I turned around and saw him lying on the floor.

“I tried to get his attention and when he didn’t respond I called Triple 0.”

Mr Hassett went up in the lift and back down on the other side as another passenger went to Mr Sibraa.

“When I got there he was going blue in the face,” he said. “I was talking to the Triple 0 operator who told me not to do breaths but to start compressions.

“The female passenger started CPR but then got exhausted after about a minute so then I took over.

“I kept going until the paramedics arrived. They made him stable then took him to Wollongong Hospital. They said I ‘did a good job’.”

Mr Hassett said he was able to remain calm and follow the instructions of the operator despite being “terrified” when first seeing Mr Sibraa.

“It was a scary experience but in the end I knew I had done the best I could for him,” he said.

Mrs Edward-Vbetkovski visited Mr Hassett at the train station for the first time since her father collapsed.

“I gave Adam a Chinese money plant which I hope will bring him good luck,” she said. “I hope when he looks at it he will remember what a good deed he did that day and how he made a difference to our lives.”

Mrs Edward-Vbetkovski wanted contact Mr Hassett so he knew what had happened to the man he saved.

Mr Hassett said he learnt CPR many years ago but had only done basic training courses to refresh his knowledge.

Mrs Edward-Vbetkovski said her father’s incident was a timely reminded to encourage people to train in first aid and CPR because it could save someone’s life one day.

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