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Tune in: BBC One’s Songs of Praise features London Ambulance Service tutor

BBC One’s Songs of Praise has featured a London Ambulance Service 999 call handler tutor who saved her dad’s life.

In a special Father’s Day episode, Estelle Williams and her dad Eddie meet presenter Aled Jones and tell him about the moment Eddie went into cardiac arrest at home.

Aled Jones standing next to Eddie and Estelle at their home in London.

Estelle was asleep after a night shift in the 999 control room when she woke to hear her mum screaming.

With the knowledge she had picked up through her job, Estelle recognised Eddie was in cardiac arrest and immediately dialled 999.

In the programme Estelle says: “I started chest compressions because that’s what we learn when we join London Ambulance Service. I knew what to do.”

Aled picks up the story saying: “Estelle’s role as 999 call handling supervisor meant she’d guided hundreds of people through similar ordeals, as well as crucially being trained in CPR.

“But little did she know she’d have to use those skills on her own dad.”

The training kicked in automatically for Estelle which meant she was able to keep Eddie’s heart pumping oxygen to the brain, while the family waited for an ambulance.

When the first paramedic arrived, Estelle was asked to continue giving CPR.

She said: “I was exhausted. My arms were done and finished. I couldn’t do anymore. God gave me this incredible strength and I just got back on to my dad’s chest again and started doing CPR.”

Paramedics used a defibrillator to give two shocks to Eddie’s heart. The second shock restored a normal heartbeat.

Both Estelle and Eddie are Christians and were delighted to share their story on Songs of Praise, which has been running for more than 60 years.

Eddie’s whole family joined him for a party to celebrate Father’s Day – and presenter Aled Jones was a special guest on the day.

Aled Jones with Estelle, Eddie and her wider family in a group photo.

Eddie is a big fan of Songs of Praise and chose a favourite hymn for the programme. I, The Lord of the Sea and Sky featured in Sunday’s show which you can catch up with on BBC iPlayer.

Since saving her dad’s life, Estelle has joined the London Lifesavers Campaign which is a London Ambulance Service initiative to encourage more people to learn how to save a life.

In the show, photos are shown of Estelle training members of her church in how to give chest compressions and use a defibrillator.

She said: “When we train people, we explain that most cardiac arrests happen at home – as I know only too well.

“By taking a few minutes to learn lifesaving skills, you could save the life of someone you love.”

You can learn how to save a life on our dedicated London Lifesavers webpage.

The London Ambulance Charity is raising money to fund this life-saving work with a family-friendly walk this September. You can support us and find out more about the London Life Hike at

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