With the coronavirus pandemic looming over the world, Josh Barraud paused for a moment when he realised he needed to give a stranger mouth-to-mouth to save his life.

"We realised he'd stopped breathing - then it was time to really break out of the bubble, so to speak.

"I have to admit, there was a little voice in the back of my head going: 'Are you going in there?'"

The Wairarapa man was out for a bike ride with his young daughter late last week, in Greytown, when they went around a corner and almost collided with another cyclist.


"[He] was on a very slow collision course with us. I'm not quite sure whether he realised he needed to get out of the way or potentially maybe already having a cardiac incident.

"But he tried to do a U-turn quickly and locked his front wheel and then toppled sideways very hard.

"Didn't even take his hands off the handlebar and wasn't wearing a helmet and smacked his head on the road, hard."

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Barraud rushed over to the man now lying unconscious in front of him.

Another woman out that day came along and started helping also; trying to put the victim in a recovery position.

While they were on the phone to emergency services, the man suddenly stopped breathing.

Barraud acknowledged that for a moment, he realised he needed to effectively go against the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions if he was going to help this man he did not know.

Wairarapa man Josh Barraud with daughter Trixie, 10. Photo / Supplied
Wairarapa man Josh Barraud with daughter Trixie, 10. Photo / Supplied

"In this situation, there's only two things to do, isn't there? There's mouth-to-mouth and CPR. Those are the two options and that's what we went for.


"I went in there with for the mouth-to-mouth and [the woman] ... started in with the chest compressions."

Barraud said he thought back to when he took a first aid course in his final year of high school - about 30 odd years ago.

"I thought I'd forgotten everything I learned in high school."

The good Samaritans' work would prove to save the life of the man before them, later identified as former Fairfax NZ News editor John Crowley.

Crowley was taken to a hospital in Wellington for treatment that day.

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Barraud said he had spoken to Crowley's wife, who had reported back that her husband was doing well.

"I have to say, it was talking to her when it really hit me - what had happened. I was pretty shocked for about a day," he said.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website