Asda customer Mark Isaac made an emotional return to our Nuneaton store to thank Kim Peterson and the team who helped to save his life when he had a cardiac arrest in the car park, saying: "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for everyone who helped me on that day."
Mark was given CPR by off-duty medic Neil Dudley while Kim ran to get the store's defibrillator, which they used to restart his heart. He was kept in hospital for seven weeks but is making a good recovery and wanted to come in to the store as soon as he was well enough.
Mark said: "I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. They are all heroes. I can't repay what they have done and I can't thank them enough. My consultant said to me that If I'd have been at home when it had happened then I would have been dead. Thankfully I was at Asda where there was a defibrillator. I do think more places should have them – they are lifesavers."
Mark, who's 57, was shopping with his wife Mandy (pictured here with him and Kim) when he collapsed. Mandy went into the store while he parked the car.
He said: "I don't really remember exactly what happened on the day, only that I was in the car park and I was trying to park then I felt a bit funny. The next thing I remember was waking up in an ambulance – I thought I'd fallen asleep!"
He was taken to University Hospital in Coventry where he underwent a triple bypass operation as doctors discovered three blocked arteries. The operation went well, but because he picked up an infection Mark had to stay in hospital for seven weeks.
Security colleague Kim was at his desk when a customer ran in to say someone was slumped behind the wheel of his car in the car park.
Kim said: "I had a quick look on the security camera and saw that a man was lying next to a car and being tended to my a passer-by. I grabbed the defibrillator and ran over."
Luckily that passer-by was Neil Dudley, an operating department practitioner at the George Elliot Hospital.
Neil, who's 33, said: “I dragged Mark out of the car and quickly started to do CPR on him until we got the defibrillator and got a pulse. I’m just so glad that Mark’s okay now.”
Kim, who's worked for Asda for two years and is now based at our Birkenhead store, was delighted to see Mark again when he called in.
He said: "I was great to see Mark in better circumstances and I was glad that he was looking so good.
"It was such a relief. I was just so happy that he was okay. The outcome could have been so different."
There's a defibrillator in every Asda store – and Kim says they're lifesavers.
He said: "Defibrillators are amazing machines – they talk to you and tell you how to use it. There should be more of them around and I think everyone should be trained on them."
Mandy said: "Mark had just dropped me off to do the shop and he was going to meet me in there. He had been some time but I didn't think that much of it at first and then I saw police at the front of the store and I had a sinking feeling. It was a great shock for me.
"I can't thank everyone for what they did that day.They were brilliant. They saved his life and we'll never forget that."
The store's deputy manager Tracey McCullough, who was in the store that day, says everyone at the store is proud of Kim and everyone who helped Mark.
She said: "As soon as the alarm was raised, Kim rushed out to the car park and all his first-aid training kicked in. He was so calm. It all happened so very, very fast and at the end of the day everyone's actions saved someone's life."
According to the British Heart Foundation, to help someone who is in cardiac arrest, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible. For every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce by up to 10 per cent.