Lutton woman’s plea from the heart

There have been two instances recently when Natalie Winford has had to sign on as a LIVES First Responder in her place of work.

On one occasion, Natalie, who lives in Lutton, was able to provide assistance during the 25 minutes it took for the ambulance to arrive.

Natalie Winford with sons Christopher and Samuel (centre) and LIVES First Responder equipment. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG280714-203TW

Natalie Winford with sons Christopher and Samuel (centre) and LIVES First Responder equipment. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG280714-203TW

“If that person was having a cardiac arrest it might have been too late,” says Natalie.

She uses that as an illustration for the importance of First Responders and to back her crusade to get a defibrillator positioned at one or more points in every single town and village throughout the district.

She says: “The more you have the better. The speed you get to someone makes the difference between life and death.”

While she is crusading on behalf of LIVES – and the medical emergency services – Natalie also puts in an appeal for everyone to make sure their house name or number is clearly visible from the road, something again that will assist response times.

As well as being a LIVES First Responder, Natalie is co-ordinator of LIVES in the Gedney area and group trainer.

Her family has given her ample experience of the medical world, or as Natalie puts it, “25 years of intense caring”.

That started with the premature birth of Christopher, now 25, with a lot of medical complications. In addition to his health problems, Christopher has been diagnosed with asperger’s, but has still managed to attain a degree in film and moving image.

Elliott (23) is fit and healthy now but again had complications as a baby when his twin sibling died.

Twenty-one-year-old William, who has two sons of his own, suffers from asthma.

Their sister Lucy, born deaf, died aged nine from a rare condition.

The children are all from a previous marriage, while the youngest, Samuel, is Natalie’s son with partner Carl Russell.

Natalie’s attitude to the years of caring and stress – including battling the medical profession to get treatment for Lucy when she was just two – is astonishing.

“I was just blessed I had them,” she says. “A lot of people don’t get blessed with children. I think having the church background helped as well because you think, ‘I have been given this for a reason’.”

Having just finished a degree in English and History, Natalie decided, as well as working as a bank support worker for Sense, that she would use her experience to assist others through LIVES.