A FATHER who saved his wife's life when her heart stopped for 17 minutes is using the 'traumatic' experience to teach others vital life-saving skills.

Richard Wells, from Clanfield, near Witney, performed CPR on his partner Emma when she went into a sudden cardiac arrest at their home in January 2018.

It took the 50-year-old months to be able to talk about the ordeal, but on Saturday he will team up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to host a free CPR training session at Witney's Langdale Hall.

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Mr Wells, who is the hall's deputy manager, is keen to turn his wife's health scare into a force for good.

He said: "We woke up on a Saturday morning and within five minutes something wasn't right with Emma.

"We chatted for a couple of minutes, then I asked her something and she didn't reply.

"I shook her and she was totally unresponsive. She looked like something supernatural."

Mr Wells had received CPR training at work the week before, but the skills came in handy in the worst way imaginable. After calling 999, he moved his wife onto the bedroom floor and starting performing CPR.

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Two of the couple's three children, Hayden and Oli, were in the house at the time, plus Hayden's boyfriend.

After nine minutes, the paramedics arrived, but it was another six or seven minutes before Mrs Wells's heart restarted. The primary school teacher was rushed to hospital and made a quick recovery, but has no recollection of the cardiac arrest.

Her husband said: "To this day we've no idea why it happened.

"They did a million and one scans at the JR. It was quite a traumatic time and I took a while to get to grips with what happened.

"I wouldn't say doing CPR on someone you love is easy, because it's not. Having the skills is the easy bit, but doing it isn't."

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After the ordeal, Mr Wells started researching CPR and contacted the BHF earlier this year.

He decided a training event was the best course of action and will host six drop-in sessions from 11am on Saturday, with each lasting 20 minutes.

Mr Wells will run the training alongside BHF volunteers, while friends and family have been drafted in to help.

Up to 50 resuscitation dolls will be spread across the hall, while money will be raised through cakes and a raffle.

Lowri Gerrard, Oxfordshire fundraising manager for the British Heart Foundation, said: "Sadly only one in 12 people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in the South West of England currently survive but we hope that with training and education in CPR live-saving skills, we can improve that statistic."

For more information, contact Ms Gerrard on 07384795828 or email gerrardl@bhf.org.