Pensioner saved by off-duty nurse and police after heart attack in Sunderland gets reunited with heroes
Man overcome with emotion after meeting those who saved his life
A man who nearly died after suffering a heart attack at the wheel of his car said he was "overwhelmed" after being reunited with the off duty police officers who saved his life.
It was Saturday March 11 when 69-year-old John Walker took ill in his parked car on Dykelands Road in Seaburn. It has since been revealed that John suffered two heart attacks and had stopped breathing.
John was in the car with the family's dog as his wife, Jean, had gone to buy fish and chips.
Fortunately for John, Detective Constable Paddy Little was on a bike ride with his son when he noticed the stricken casualty behind the wheel.
DC Little, who works for the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU), immediately came to his aid.
He was quickly joined by Police Constable Jonathan Buckster of Durham Constabulary, and nurse Sarah Watson from the NHS South Tyneside and Sunderland Foundation Trust, who were also off-duty in the area.
The trio worked together to remove John from his car and immediately administered first-aid and life-saving CPR until an ambulance arrived at the scene.
Once the paramedics arrived John was swiftly transferred to hospital for emergency treatment.
Police officers on the scene also supported Jean and made arrangements for her to be taken to the hospital and for their pet dog to be looked after.
This week, an emotional John was reunited with the officers who saved his life, as part of a presentation to recognise their lifesaving exploits.
John said: “When I first saw Paddy and Jonathan again for the first time in person since falling ill, I couldn’t speak at first. I was overwhelmed with emotion as the realisation hit me.
“It was difficult for me to remember what had happened at first and it took me quite a few days after having two heart attacks for it to sink in properly while I was in hospital.
“I know that I had started shivering and not been making sense before taking ill while I was in my car waiting for my wife Jean.
“I just feel very lucky that Paddy, Jonathan and Sarah were there to help me – and to all of the emergency services who arrived so quickly and were absolutely fantastic with me and Jean.
“We are so grateful for their amazing support and I can’t thank them enough for saving my life. Never will I forget them.”
Unfortunately nurse Sarah Watson was unable to attend the presentation but after being reunited with John, DC Little and PC Buckster were presented with certificates of commendation by Superintendent Amanda Duminghan.
She said: “The lengths that our officers and emergency services in the region will go to in order to help people never fails to impress me.
“I am so proud of the selflessness and dedication shown by Paddy, Jonathan and Sarah, as well as all of our emergency services colleagues who attended this incident.
“I have no doubt that their actions ultimately helped to save Mr Walker who thankfully had started breathing again when the ambulance arrived.
“Officers often carry out extraordinary acts of service, both on and off duty, and it’s only right we recognise their efforts. Well done to everyone involved and I am so pleased that John is on the mend since the incident.”