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Lerwick lass earns top bravery award

Proud parents Wynne and Derrick look on as Jessica shows off her medal at the Castle Esplanade in Edinburgh.

A LERWICK woman who risked her own life to stop a man from bleeding to death after cutting his own throat has just received the highest bravery award from a Scottish medical and rescue charity.

Jessica Bradley, from Upper Sound, faced physical violence when she rushed into a known drugs den in Lerwick to help the man two years ago.

On Thursday the 22 year old received the Order of St John’s Gold Life-Saving Medal at Edinburgh Castle in honour of her efforts.

Then aged 20, the army cadet force sergeant instructor with first-aid skills, was leaving a house in Grodians with her friend Claire Hendry when she heard glass smashing.

They also heard a man shouting for an ambulance and screaming “he’s cut himself”.

Bradley took a first-aid kit from her car and asked Hendry to call for help before entering the building where she found two men struggling.

“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,” Bradley said.

Jessica being presented with her award from Major General Mark Strudwick, Prior of St John Scotland.

“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.”

However, the injured man became violent as Bradley spent 10 minutes tending to him while waiting for an ambulance before he locked himself in a 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,” she recalled.

Six police officers and two ambulance crew later subdued the man before taking him to hospital.

Bradley said she was “totally overwhelmed” to receive the honour, for which she was nominated by her cadet force battery commander Kevin Bryant, who said she acted in an “exceptionally brave and professional manner”.

Local paramedic Niall Bristow, who attended the incident, paid tribute to Bradley’s willingness to put herself at risk to aid others.

“The scene was chaotic, yet Jessica’s behaviour was driven by her desire to do her best for a fellow human being,” he said.

“She is a credit to her family, friends, the army cadet force and herself.”