Brian returns to leisure centre to thank life-savers

A man who had a heart attack while playing walking football said thank-you in person after meeting the staff who helped to save his life.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 21 December, 2018, 15:20
From left, Rob Brown, Liam OBrien, Brian Middleton, Mandy Douglas and Lisa Gordon at Ashington Leisure Centre.

In an emotional reunion, Brian Middleton from Ellington expressed his sincere gratitude to the team on duty at Ashington Leisure Centre for their prompt and professional actions and for working the defibrillator machine that helped to keep him alive until paramedics arrived.

The 73-year-old collapsed during the game on October 17. Mandy Douglas, Rob Brown, Liam O’Brien and Lisa Gordon were the Active Northumberland staff who came to his aid.

He was taken to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital near Cramlington for a few days and was then moved to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Brian had three stents put in, his arteries were unblocked and an internal defibrillator was fitted.

He was discharged from hospital on October 26 and daughter Carolyn Sanderson said this week that his recovery is going very well.

Ashington Leisure Centre manager Leanne Beattie said: “It was so nice to meet Brian again under better circumstances and we are delighted that he is making such a speedy recovery.

“Our staff are extremely well trained for incidents such as this – but to keep calm, think clearly and put that training into action during the extreme pressure of a real life-or-death incident is quite another matter.

“I’m very proud of how the team handled such a stressful situation.”