A first responder from Rhayader has been praised for saving the life of a man who had an allergic reaction to a wasp sting.

St John's Ambulance Cymru first responder Jess Hughes, 37, was called into action after a man was stung by a wasp, and his airways began to close up.

Having learned how to treat anaphylactic reactions just months before in her volunteer role, she knew to leap into action and administer a shot of adrenaline in order to save the man.

“Although the man looked calm and comfortable, he told us he found swallowing and breathing difficult, a sign his airway was starting to close. I knew I had to act fast so he had the best chance of surviving,” said Jess.

With the nearest ambulance 40 minutes away, Jess and her colleague continued to monitor the man’s vital signs before the emergency services arrived at the scene.

Jess said: “The patient had no previous history of allergic reactions and so it was really quite distressing for him.

“As a first responder I carry everything I might need to help in an emergency, which after my recent training, now includes adrenaline. It really couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Adrenaline is used to help people in allergic distress, and the swelling to his airway went down quickly. Soon, the man was breathing normally again.

“I stayed with him until the paramedics came and took over his care. I did everything I could and I’m so glad it resulted in a positive outcome,” said Jess.

St John Ambulance Cymru volunteers are trained to deal with emergency situations and are based in communities across Wales to help people when they need it most. Community first responders like Jessica are especially important in rural areas, like Rhayader, where it can take longer for specialist help to arrive.

The training Jessica received was one of the latest courses developed for volunteers at the charity.

Philip Morris, head of training at St John Ambulance Cymru said: "Jess’ quick-thinking and prompt action demonstrates just how important it can be act fast in a life-threatening situation.

“Jess is the first of our volunteers to use adrenaline in this way and the training has already proven its worth. We’re so proud of what Jess has achieved and the actions she took to save a life.

“Had Jess not had the skills and equipment she needed to respond; the outcome could have been very different.”

St John Ambulance Cymru is Wales’ leading first aid charity and their mission is to enhance the health and wellbeing of communities across Wales. You can learn more about their charitable work or donate to help them continue to save lives in Wales by going to: www.sjacymru.org.uk