Hero nurse saves bash victim

WHEN Inga Cotton saw a man laying motionless on the ground after a vicious bashing, she had to help.

"He just wasn't getting up so I knew something was horribly wrong,'' she said yesterday.

She has emerged as the reluctant hero from last Thursday night's gang bashing of a 25-yearold Rockhampton man in a carpark in front of Yeppoon Main Beach.

Ms Cotton, a registered nurse of 20 years, had been enjoying fish and chips with her eightyear-old son and his father nearby, when the man walking his dog was attacked.

She immediately rushed to his aid, which until yesterday, went unreported.

"I don't know who's dobbed me in (to The Morning Bulletin). I really don't want to make a big deal of it,'' Ms Cotton insisted.

After much persuasion, she recalled the incident and her actions.

"We heard the disturbance but it just sounded like dogs were fighting,'' she said.

"I only saw the tail end of it. I looked around and saw a fellow on the ground and a group leaving.''

Ms Cotton said instinct kicked in. She told her son's father to get the first aid kit from the car.

Other bystanders had phoned police and ambulance.

"A few people were panicking,'' Ms Cotton said, "I just concentrated on ABC (airway, breathing and circulation). "I got him on his side and made sure his airway was clear and mainly tried to reassure him.

"He wasn't responding at first but when I talked to him he mumbled. I just explained that I was here to help and told him to stay calm. That was the main thing, especially with head injuries, I was worried that he may fit.''

The victim had visible facial in juries, bruising and had lost blood.

"I was shocked really,'' Ms Cotton said, "It was awful. There were a lot of families around that would have seen it.''

Ms Cotton stayed with the victim until paramedics arrived and took the man to hospital.

"I just did what I had to do,'' a modest Ms Cotton said.

"If I wasn't there, there would have been someone else who knew first aid who would have done the same thing.''

Yeppoon Ambulance officer-incharge, Warren Kellett, while unable to comment specifically on the incident, said help from bystanders was much appreciated.

"We thank them from the deepest part of our hearts,'' he said.

Anyone interested in learning first aid should call 1300 369 003.

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