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Life Changing and Life Saving

Eddy Coniff stood next to a tunnel

A University of Sunderland (@sunderlanduni) student who is using his own experiences to help others fulfil their potential has been hailed a hero after he stepped in and saved a life.

Eddy Coniff, Engagement Assistant at the University’s Centre for Graduate Prospects, who is in the final year of his Psychology degree, was working a late shift at the Graduate Destinations Call Centre when he became involved in a life or death emergency.

Eddy Coniff Said:

“I had finished my shift at 8 pm and was leaving to catch my bus on Durham Road, I was heading through the underpass at University Metro when someone came up to me and told me a homeless lady was having a seizure.

“I ran down and she was unresponsive and had stopped breathing. She’d turned completely blue. I discovered she had taken an overdose, so I immediately phoned an ambulance and began CPR.”

Eddy continued administering CPR for ten minutes until emergency services arrived, by which time he had managed to revive the woman.

Eddy Coniff Said:

“The police and ambulance crew told me I had saved her life,

“Thankfully I had undergone training last year to become a first aider for my department. That training was really invaluable, it enabled me to be confident with what I was doing, even though it was a scary situation.”

Eddy has been in touch with the ambulance service and has since discovered that the woman he saved has fully recovered and has been offered support.

Eddy is due to graduate this summer and has been supported during his studies as a care experienced or estranged student. Eddy is now passing on some of the support he received. He became a Senior Student Ambassador and received a commendation as Student of the Year at the 2023 NEON Awards.

Eddy Coniff Said:

“I really feel I can make a difference to students from widening access and participation backgrounds, and to those students who are care experienced or estranged like myself, I feel I can really help those who need more representation and support at Sunderland.”

At the Centre for Graduate Prospects, Eddy works with underrepresented students who fall into APP (Access and Participation Plan) categories, offering one-to-one support and referrals.

Gareth Trainer, Head of the Centre for Graduate Prospects at the University, said: “It says so much about Eddy that was able to put his training into action so instinctively in a situation that would have intimidated many of us. His bravery, confidence and passion for people saved a life and we couldn’t be prouder.”

Eddy is now urging more people to take up first aid training.

Eddy Coniff Said:

“You never think you will need it until you find yourself in a situation where you really need it, Without that training, the events of that night may have had a different outcome.”

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