A QUICK-THINKING fitness instructor has been praised after he leapt into action to save the life of a man who col- lapsed at a Stone leisure centre.
Russell Follows, 55, from Stone suffered a cardiac arrest in the changing rooms of town’s Westbridge Park Fitness Centre.
Instructor Lee Nicklin grabbed the onsite defibrillator machine and used it to start Mr Follows’ heart, along with CPR, in the vital few minutes before para- medics arrived.
Medics at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and the family of Mr Follows said it saved his life.
Mr Nicklin, 39, said: “I was told a man had collapsed in the changing rooms and when I got there I could see he was unconscious.
“I could tell from the colour in his face, it had turned dark purple, that he had probably had a cardiac arrest. I checked for a pulse but there was none so knew I had to be quick. I rolled him on to his back, ripped open his shirt and used the defibrillator. I then continued to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived.
“Both the hospital and members of Mr Follows’ family have said if it were not for my quick actions it is unlikely he would be alive today.
“It was all part of the job. We are trained to use the defibrillators and knowing that it saved this man’s life demonstrates how important the machine and our regular training is.”
Defibrillators are vital life-saving tools and ambulance bosses, first responders and people who have used them, say they should be everywhere.
In June last year Wheaton Aston man Jeff Ford was saved after collapsing at the Monckton Recreation Centre in Penkridge. Fellow sportsmen rushed to use the public access defibrillator.
The borough council has them at various locations, including leisure centres, the Civic Centre, Gatehouse Theatre and the crematorium on Tixall Road, Stafford, with around 70 members of staff trained to use them.
Councillor Mike Smith, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Well done to Lee. He deserves all the praise he has been given. It is so important we have our staff trained to cope in this type of situation.”