"I don't know what would have happened had he not been there. He's an absolute superstar. He potentially saved my life" – the words of regular Asda customer Dan Whelan who had a mini stroke in our Crawley store and was looked after by our security colleague Alan Temple.
Forty-eight-year-old Dan, who's visually impaired, suddenly lost his balance, his orientation and his speech became slurred when he was doing his daily shop.
He said: “I didn’t know what was happening, I couldn’t turn left and I couldn’t really speak either.”
Alan recognised something was not quite right and walked him Dan to his flat which is just across the road, but just before they got there Dan collapsed. Alan called for an ambulance and stayed with Dan and his partner, Ella Cerbu, until paramedics arrived.
He said: "To say Alan went above and beyond, well it's not even close. I can't thank him enough. He's a proper gent."
"He made me feel safe and genuinely looked after me. He held my hand while we waited for an ambulance. He’s my hero, an absolute superstar. What he did was fantastic.
“He potentially saved my life. I could have passed out anywhere or even stumbled into the path of a car or bus. I can’t thank him enough.”
In a letter to the store, Dan added: "You're lucky (and I am) to have him. Above and beyond the call of duty. Shopping at Asda is worth every penny."
Dan has now recovered from his transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or "mini stroke" which is caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain.
It can cause sudden symptoms similar to a stroke such as speech and visual disturbance, and numbness or weakness in the face, arms and legs. But a TIA does not last as long as a stroke. The effects last a few minutes to a few hours and fully resolve within 24 hours.
Fifty-three-year-old Alan, who's worked at the store for 10 years, said he was alerted to Dan by a fellow customer who at first thought he was drunk.
He said: "When I went over to Dan he was stumbling around a lot, but he clearly hadn't been drinking. He kept saying he couldn't turn left. He was very disorientated. He didn’t know what he was doing.
"I said I'd walk him home, which was only a few minutes away, but he kept saying 'no', but I insisted. When we were only a few steps away from his house he went all limp!"
Alan, who has been nominated for an Asda superstar award, has modestly dismissed his hero tag, saying: "It was a duty of care. I was being a human being, it's just what you do."
Store manager Nathen Newark said everyone at the store was proud of Alan.
He said: "What he did was stunning. It was just really nice that he thought of someone else the way he did. It was very much above and beyond the call of duty.
"Alan's a very trustworthy guy and a valuable member of the team here. He is very vigilant in whatever he does."
Thank You Day: We're saying thank you to colleagues like Alan who've been going the extra mile to help our customers and local communities throughout the week in advance of the UK's first national Thank You Day on July 4. The day is designed to bring people together to say thanks to those in our local communities who've been doing so much to help during the pandemic. Find out more here: https://thankyouday.org.uk/