There is usually a love/hate relationship with a caller and it all depends on how well a bingo player’s session goes. Claim a bingo and the caller is the greatest thing since sliced bread and if you lose then the caller is an enemy for life!
Waiting for 1tg can be an agonizing yet adrenaline racing experience. As each new number is announced the player waits with baited breath that it will their winning bingo ball. The moans and groans can be heard throughout the bingo club as the number before and number after yours is showing up on the lit bingo board.
Sometimes we forget that they are more than just a caller and they are ordinary people just like everyone else. And the recent heroic efforts of Ben Washington, caller at Mecca Bingo puts it all in perspective with a new appreciation.
Shirley Gardener might of left the bingo hall without a single bingo win but she ended up getting so much more on her ride home with the gift of life. She had a heart attack on the Ring and Ride bus when Washington sprang into action climbing over the seats and administered first aid.
The first five minutes are crucial in savings a heart attack victim’s life according to doctors and Washington’s quick thinking saved the grandmothers life. Gardener told reporters “He’s Ben, my guardian angel.”
Shirley has been a regular at Mecca Bingo for the past 15 years and ironically the caller was hers truly when he called all her numbers for a bingo winning £55. As she left she began to feel short of breath and once on the bus collapsed between the seats.
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.”
She was rushed to the hospital where doctors spent 45 minutes resuscitating her. 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.”