Son's thanks to former Sheerness teacher Brian Risdon's first aiders
The son of a former Island teacher who suffered a heart attack
said first aid by two shop workers kept his dad alive long enough
for him to say goodbye.
Brian Risdon, of Maple Street, Sheerness, collapsed in the
middle of a shopping trip with his wife Janet and daughter Emma at
Dunelm Mill, Sittingbourne Retail Park, on Tuesday, January 29.
Employees Lynn Ovenstone and Sue Hussein performed CPR on the
father of two and contacted the emergency services with the help of
colleague Adam Seymour.
Although he died five days later, at the age of 69, son Ben
Risdon said their swift work kept his dad alive long enough for him
to travel from his Middlesbrough home to see him one last time.
Lynn, who believes more people should be first-aid trained,
said: “It feels good knowing that I have helped the family.”
She was hopeful the former St George’s Middle School teacher
would pull through but added: “His wife phoned the store on Monday,
I thought it was really good of her to let us know.”
The three colleagues are planning to attend the funeral.
Emma Risdon, 41, praised the emergency services including Kent
Police who took her to William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, where her
father was admitted.
He was transferred to Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, on
Friday, February 1, where was taken off life support at 11am the
next day before dying at 9am on the Sunday.
Ben’s partner Jim Woods, 39, said: “If this can encourage one
person to do a first aid course then it wasn’t all a sad
Island born and bred, Mr Risdon taught at St Edward’s Primary,
Sheerness, and St George’s, when it was a middle school, in both
Sheerness and Minster. He also worked at the Chequers Road site in
the library when it became a primary.
Mr Risdon, who survived a previous heart attack 14 years ago,
also took adult education classes in the evenings.
- Anyone who knew Mr Risdon is welcome at the funeral at 9am on
Thursday, February 14, at the Garden of England Crematorium,
Bobbing. Donations to the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and
The Kent Wildlife Trust.
Kind, caring and a fantastic teacher
Head teacher at St George’s Primary Howard Fisher paid
tribute, saying: “Brian was a lovely, kind and caring man who will
be missed by the staff who worked with him.
“I will remember him for all his hard work in setting up the new
library when we re-modelled St George’s and the effort he put in to
ensure all the books were catalogued and well presented for the
“He was one of life’s gentlemen and our thoughts are with his
family at this time.”
Former colleague David Dyson said: “He was a cornerstone of St
George’s Middle School.
“Over the years he earned the respect of both pupils and
teachers and he will be sorely missed.”
Mr Risdon’s widow Janet said: “He was a bit silly. He was always
doing silly things. If you were down in the dumps he would cheer
She added he enjoyed tending his allotment in Nursery Close,
Sheerness, and his Saturday morning strolls.
Their son Ben, 36, thanked people for their Facebook comments
saying his dad was a “fantastic teacher”.
“It helps me to think, wow, that’s really nice people think that
of my dad,” he said.
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