A BROTHER and sister from Pembrokeshire have been recognised after their quick thinking saved their father’s life.

Cai and Celyn Llewellyn performed CPR on their dad John after he suffered a cardiac arrest at their home in Fishguard in November last year.

The siblings have now been awarded a British Heart Foundation Heart Hero Award, having been nominated by their mother Nicola.

“My husband John was just doing his usual morning workout in our home-made gym,” Nicola said.

“It’s not very often the kids are home on the weekend, but on this particular Sunday morning, Cai and Celyn were making a cooked breakfast when John suddenly staggered into our kitchen.

“They immediately alerted me to call 999.”

Celyn realised something was seriously wrong as John was unable to speak or catch his breath, while Cai put his arms around John to help him to the sofa.

No sooner than Cai and Celyn had moved John to the sofa, he went limp. Despite no previous experience in CPR, the pair had to jump into action.

“It was like a light switch,” said Cai. “Dad suddenly was like a dead body next to me on the couch and was no longer in control of himself.

“Something just clicked inside me - I managed to put him on the floor and cut his t-shirt off to begin CPR.”

Meanwhile, Celyn sprinted to the nearest defibrillator – at the village hall around 300 yards from their house – and retrieved it while the family received support over the phone from the emergency operator.

“None of us had ever used a defib before,” Celyn said. “We didn’t even know we needed a code to access it, but the four-digit code is now etched in my brain.

“Once I got back with the defibrillator, the next 20 minutes were crucial. Cai was amazing – he was so calm taking on responsibility of using the defibrillator and finding the electrical rhythm with support over the phone from 999.

“We had to shock him three times in between 20 minutes of CPR, before the fire brigade arrived as first responders.”

The emergency services took over treatment, and John was flown by air ambulance to Morriston Hospital.

Doctors believe his cardiac arrest was caused by a ventricular arrhythmia, and he was fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) – a device which can treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms – a few weeks later.

Cai, 19, and Celyn, 22, received their award at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, December 6, which was also attended by guests including Pippa Middleton, Vernon Kay and David Seaman.

John has now been diagnosed with heart failure, and while the incident has had a physical toll on his health, he continues to make incredible progress.

“As a family unit, we’ve made so much progress in a year,” he said. “At Christmas last year we were still so on edge and for months we were all quite scared to leave the house in case something happened.

“I am still here because Cai and Celyn acted with a maturity and a calmness that has left me just so proud of them.”

“We are now encouraging everyone we meet to get CPR training and to find their local defibrillator,” said Celyn.

“If it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone.”

More information on the BHF can be found at: bhf.org.uk