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Student saves instructor’s life during lesson

Josefina Duggan and Alliott Simmons with Alan Duggan (right) who has recovered from a massive heart attack thanks to Alliott's quick actions.
Josefina Duggan and Alliott Simmons with Alan Duggan (right) who has recovered from a massive heart attack thanks to Alliott's quick actions. Valerie Horton

A QUICK-thinking 17-year-old saved his driving instructor's life when he drove him to the Hervey Bay Hospital during one of his lessons.

Alliott Simmons only knew the instructor Alan Duggan by his first name and nothing else when Mr Duggan suffered a massive heart attack in the early morning of July 12.

"I was only on my second lesson with Alan and we were driving along Hervey Bay-Maryborough Rd. And just before the go-kart track, Alan said turn left and he just fell asleep," Mr Simmons said.

"I thought he was making a joke at me because I was driving slowly, but I quickly realised what was happening so I drove straight to the hospital."

Mr Simmons, who got his P-plates last Friday, said doctors did CPR on Mr Duggan on the kerb for 20 minutes because they didn't have time to get him inside the hospital.

"It took a while for the people at the emergency department to realise what was happening because they didn't realise I was on my lesson," Mr Simmons said.

"They came over to make sure I wasn't in shock - but having a nurse for a mum and a paramedic dad, I was well aware of the situation.

"I have a first-aid certificate and knew that in a situation like that, I only have two or three minutes to get someone to the hospital before the worst happens."

Mr Duggan, who was airlifted to the Nambour Hospital on the day to get a stent in his heart, said Mr Simmons saved his life.

"I didn't know what happened until I woke up four days later. Doctors said Alliott was a hero and I owe my life to him," he said.

"He even called the hospital a few days later to check on me and I'm very touched that he even cared."

Mr Duggan, who goes for walks every morning, said the attack, which was his first, was a wake-up call for him to eat more healthily.

"My wife put me on a strict diet of grilled food, salad and steamed vegetables," he said.

The instructor is also not allowed to drive for six months.

Topics:  driving instructor editors picks heart attack student



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