Pensioner thanks heroic neighbour for saving his life

Fred Day, right, with his neighbour David Bell, front, wife Ann and son David.
Fred Day, right, with his neighbour David Bell, front, wife Ann and son David.

A Castleford pensioner whose heart stopped for 10 minutes was saved by his heroic neighbour.

Fred Day, 76, suffered a cardiac arrest at his home on High Oxford Street after and would have died without the quick thinking of neighbour David Bell and his family.

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Fred said: “My wife went to make a cup of tea and she heard a gurgling sound. She ran back in and I was slumped over. She couldn’t move me.

“She ran out screaming into the street. My daughter and her partner Richard, who live across the road, ran over with my neighbour David.”

Fred was unconscious for around 10 minutes while David gave him CPR and Richard took advice from a 999 call handler.

David, 51, said: “I knew he had ‘died’ when I saw him and I knew I had to keep blood flowing – it only takes three minutes for your brain to be starved of oxygen until you’re brain-dead.

“Everyone was screaming. I checked his pulse, his airways, and started CPR.

“I didn’t stop until the ambulance got there. It all happened so fast.

“You train in CPR but you never think you’ll have to use it. It was traumatic, but he’s still here to tell the tale.”

It took three shocks from the defibrillator before his heart started again and he was rushed to hospital.

Fred spent three weeks in Pinderfields Hospital before he was released.

It was an emotional reunion when Fred saw David again.

Fred said: “I just gave him a big hug and said thank you for all he’s done. I think there were a few tears.”

David said: “He put his arms around me and said ‘thank you’. I just said ‘I’m glad you’re still here’.”

David learned CPR when he served in the Territorial Army.

Fred added: “Everyone at the hospital ‘said the person who gave you CPR saved your life’.

“It’s a good job it happened on a Sunday and everyone was in – everyone there played a part in saving my life.

“And I want to thank the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the crew at the Castleford depot who got there and took me to hospital.”

Mr Bell has been presented with a Royal Humane Society certificate for his bravery.