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Runner died for 10 minutes during half marathon after suffering heart attack

Quick thinking spectators saved the life of a runner who suffered a heart attack during the Pontefract Half Marathon this weekend.

Mark Weaver, 49, was less than three miles into the run on Sunday morning when he collapsed on Pontefract Road, Featherstone.

Readers have been sending their get well messages to Mark, who is recovering after suffering a heart attack during the marathon.

Readers have been sending their get well messages to Mark, who is recovering after suffering a heart attack during the marathon.

Off-duty nurses Kirsty Shepherd and Laura Royston heard calls for help.

Kirsty said: “We’d seen most of the people go past and we were about to move to the next vantage point when I heard this shout for a first aider.

“We were there within about a minute, he was literally metres away from us.

“We looked at him and knew straight away that he was going to need quite a lot of input.

“I just automatically want into A&E mode. We realised that he wasn’t breathing correctly and started CPR, he didn’t have a pulse.

“I didn’t think about it, I just want straight in and thought ‘you’re not going to die on me.’”

With the help of Tom Camponi, a nurse carer who dropped out of the marathon to help, and Rachel Ely, an off-duty paramedic, Kirsty and Laura were able to save Mark’s life.

Mark was taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where doctors fitted a stent in his heart to help bloodflow. He also suffered a collapsed lung.

His wife, Diane, said that without Kirsty and Laura’s quick response, he would not have survived.

Despite this, Mark is well on the road to recovery and is already keen to return to his job as a trawlerman.

Diane said: “They told us to expect a lot of brain damage because he had been dead for 10 minutes, but he’s back to normal.

“His recovery has been fantastic, better than I ever could have expected.

“He wants to go home and he wants to go back to work.”

Diane was at home with the couple’s 12-year-old granddaughter when she heard that Mark had collapsed.

She said his heart attack had come as a shock to the family.

“Mark is a man that doesn’t sit down, he’s always on the go,” she said. “We never thought it would happen.”

Mark was transferred to Pinderfields Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, and hopes to return home by the end of the week.

Diane said: “The nurse said if it wasn’t for the immediate CPR he would be dead.

“We will never be able to thank all the people who helped him, they were absolutely fantastic.”