A pensioner who collapsed in a Peterborough shopping centre has given a heartfelt thanks to the team of security guards who saved his life.
Frank Dawson (68) was going to a doctor’s appointment at Serpentine Green Shopping Centre in Hampton when his heart stopped and he collapsed in August.
Thankfully, the team in the shopping centre’s control room had spotted Frank, from Hampton Hargate, was unwell on CCTV, and first aid trained staff - armed with a defibrillator - were sent to the scene.
They managed to keep Frank alive until paramedics arrived to take airlift him to hospital.
This week Frank, who is still recovering, returned to the shopping centre with his son Adrian Dawson and daughter Emma Dawson-Webb to meet the team who saved him and to present David Leonard, Sam Elsworth, Dean Kent, Craig Taylor, Ray Woods and Jason Ellis with an award to say thank you.
Frank said: “I can’t remember what happened - or the two days afterwards - but I am so grateful for what they did here.
Adrian (44) added: “On behalf of his family, we can’t thank the team enough for saving dad’s life.”
Craig said the incident happened on Monday, August 13 at about 3pm, when the centre was busy.
He said: “I was in the control room, when there was concern for a man feeling unwell. I radioed for first aiders to go to the scene.”
Dean and Sam were the first to arrive to help Frank, and Dean said: “Frank was awake when we got there, but he was very grey, and he was struggling for breath.
“He then collapsed.
“It all happened so fast. I think we were working on him for about 20 minutes.”
Sam said: “He just passed out and stopped breathing.
“We have been given first aid training, but we have never had to use it in a situation like this before.
“We were just concentrating on what we were doing.”
While first aid was being carried out, screens were put up around Frank to give him privacy.
He was taken to Papworth Hospital, where he remained for nearly two weeks while he recovered.
He now has a ‘defibrillator on his heart’ after surgery at Papworth, and he is still recovering.
The team, who are employed by security firm VSG, heard Frank had pulled through the following day.
Craig said: “He was with the right people that is for sure.
“We were delighted to hear he was OK, and it is great to see him again.”
The award will now have pride of place in the centre’s trophy cabinet.