Bingo Caller Saves Player’s Life

Bingo Caller Saves Player's LifeAt live bingo halls callers are essential. Some bingo halls use automated callers but most players prefer live entertaining callers. In the UK bingo has a colorful language all its own and a good caller must speak flawless ‘bingo lingo.’ At some bingo halls certain callers have achieved cult status and many players will only show up when a certain caller is working. Some players actually believe that certain bingo callers are ‘lucky’ and in one recent case a player was saved by a bingo caller.

When Grandmother Shirley Gardener went to her local bingo hall little did she know that her life would be saved by a quick thinking caller. Gardener, who is 66, had a heart attack on a Ring and Ride bus as she was leaving the Mecca bingo hall in High Street, Brierley Hill. Bingo caller Ben Washington saw what was happening and rushed to give aid to Mrs. Gardener. Washington had been trained in first aid but had never had to put his skills to work before that evening. Washington climbed over the bus seats to get to Gardener and administered CPR.

Doctors said that Washington’s actions bought Gardener the vital five minutes that saved her life. Shirley, a retired cleaner, told reporters “He’s Ben, my guardian angel.” Gardener has met Ben to thank him for his quick action and lifesaving treatment. She also gave him a big grandmotherly kiss. Shirley’s husband Richard told about 400 bingo players the story about how Ben saved his wife’s life. His recitation brought tears to the eyes of many bingo players. The extremely grateful family gave Ben three bottles of his favorite drink-Jaegermeister.

Shirley has been a regular at the local Mecca bingo hall for 15 years and won £55 that fateful evening. As she was leaving with her daughter Kerry she began to feel short of breath as they were leaving. She got on the bus and collapsed between the seats. Ben, who had been trained by St John Ambulance six years ago, rushed to administer first aid. Shirley told reporters “When I opened my eyes I just saw this big face coming at me and I heard Ben say ‘Shirley, come on’ and I don’t remember anything else.” Ben remembered the incident and said “Shirley was on the floor of the bus, so I climbed over a few seats to get to her and tried to get her comfortable because I thought at first it was asthma. But she said ‘I’m going, I’m gone’ and stopped breathing. That was the scariest bit, so I put her on her back and did CPR, including the kiss of life.”

Shirley was rushed to the hospital where doctors spent 45 minutes resuscitating her. Husband Richard said “The doctor came out and said another five minutes and she wouldn’t have made it. Ben giving her CPR gave her that five minutes.” Donna Brownhill, the manager at the hall, stated “Ben is very modest but the club, the company and all our customers are very proud of him. His quick-thinking saved Shirley’s life.”

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