A young woman from Lerwick who risked her own safety when she forced her way into a known drugs den to stop a man from bleeding to death from a self-inflicted knife wound is to receive the highest level of bravery award from care charity St John Scotland.
Jessica Bradley from Upper Sound will be given the Order of St John’s Gold Life-saving Medal at a ceremony at Edinburgh Castle on Thursday.
It was just over two years ago that Jessica, then only 20, faced drug and alcohol-fuelled violence as she and friend Claire Hendry were leaving a house in Grodians, Lerwick, and heard glass smashing and someone screaming for an ambulance.
As they ran across the street towards the noise a young man emerged repeatedly shouting, “He’s cut himself”.
Jessica, a trained first-aider and cadet force sergeant instructor, grabbed a first aid kit from her car and told Claire to telephone for help.
Inside the house Jessica found two men struggling. One was the resident, who was apparently trying to remove the other, although he was clearly injured.
“I had to fight off the unhurt one, but managed to get a look at the other. He had a really serious throat wound and was bleeding badly,” said Jessica.
“I’ve actually known him since I was four years old at nursery, so there was a connection and I managed to talk to him and calm him down enough to apply pressure to the wound.”
For the next 10 minutes, until the emergency services arrived, Jessica had to keep the householder at bay, while attempting to keep the injured man calm.
But the situation deteriorated even more when the injured man became violent, kicking and punching Jessica and eventually breaking away and locking himself in another room.
“After that I kept talking to him through the door and managed to get him to press a blanket to the wound and he seemed to become calm again.” I
However it took six police officers and two ambulance personnel to subdue him enough to get him to hospital.
Jessica was nominated for the St John Scotland award by her cadet force battery commander, Kevin Bryant, who said: “Jessica acted in an exceptionally brave and professional manner with no thought for her own safety in what was a dangerous situation.”