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Woman gets out of wheelchair to save drowning senior

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Woman gets out of wheelchair to save drowning senior
The rehabilitation clinic where the rescue took place (Photo: RZL.ch)
11:49 CEST+02:00
A disabled 48-year-old woman is being hailed as a hero for leaping out of her wheelchair to save a pensioner who narrowly escaped drowning in a pool at Leukerbad, in the canton of Valais.

The incident occurred at a rehabilitation clinic, where the woman from the Bernese Jura, identified as Corinne, was undergoing therapy, LeMatin.ch reports.

The news website, which splashed the story on Wednesday, said Corinne has used a wheelchair ever since she was seriously injured in a car accident in 2005.

But on Sunday afternoon she was able to jump out of the chair and save the life of an Italian man in his 70s, a resident of the canton of Valais, who had a heart attack while swimming in the pool.

Corinne recalled that she was in the clinic’s cafeteria when she heard the man’s cries from the outdoor pool, about 50 metres away.

She managed to get out of the wheelchair and run across to the pool, passing through a rose bush en route.

“I don’t know how, or why, but I lifted myself out of the chair,” she told LeMatin.ch.

“It was instinctive — I was able to give him aid.”

The person responsible for the pool was in the toilets at the time, but upon his return he was able to lift the Italian out of the water with the help of a waitress from the clinic’s restaurant.

Corinne arrived at poolside at the same time.

“It was as if he was dead,” she said.

Remembering tips from a first aid course taken 30 years earlier, Corinne told the waitress to give the man a cardiac massage while she performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

A minute later the man regained consciousness.

He was transported to the Visp hospital before being transported to one in Sion where he is in “stable and satisfactory” condition.

“A nurse told me if he is still living it is thanks to her (Corinne),” Raymonde Bonvin, director of care at the clinic, told LeMatin.ch.

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