Pair to be honoured for saving life of shopper in Eaton Waitrose

David Hellier and Ben Michie will be awarded a top national life-saving award after a life and death

David Hellier and Ben Michie will be awarded a top national life-saving award after a life and death drama in the toilets of Waitrose at Eaton.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Two men who helped save the life of a shopper who collapsed in a supermarket toilet cubicle have today spoken about the dramatic rescue for the first time.

Ben Michie and David Hellier are to receive a top national life saving award after helping to bring a 48-year-old man from the brink of death at the Waitrose store at Eaton.

Mr Michie, 32, a fencing and landscape worker, was working on site at the time and went to the toilet when the drama unfolded.

He said: 'As I was in the toilet I heard someone come into the cubicle next to me before collapsing and his legs then came under the cubicle.

'I looked over the top to see what was going on and he was slumped against the door.'

The father of one from Middleton's Crescent, Costessey, went to get help and found store worker Mr Hellier, who called for an ambulance. The man, who had by now stopped breathing, was trapped in the cubicle as he was blocking the door.

Mr Michie, who is first aid trained, said Mr Hellier climbed over the top of the cubicle to get the man out before he then carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the toilet floor.

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He said: 'I just did the chest compressions for about three or four minutes before the ambulance got there and took over. I didn't speak to the paramedics but saw the police afterwards and they said the paramedics said what I did kept him alive, which is nice.'

Mr Michie, a former Sprowston High School pupil, is to receive a Royal Humane Society resuscitation certificate and Mr Hellier, of Ashleigh Gardens, Wymondham, will get a certificate of commendation following their actions on June 9 this year.

Mr Michie said it was 'nice to be able to help someone' but wanted to see the man they had helped.

Mr Hellier, 36, a father of three and section manager at the store, said he was pleased but surprised to be recognised in this way following the incident. He said: 'It's one of those things...you don't expect to come into work and have to do that, but I'm really pleased that what we did helped to save him.'

Mr Hellier said the man came into the store following the incident and thanked him. He said: 'He was very, very grateful.'

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) confirmed the man had suffered a cardiac arrest and thanked the pair for their actions. He said: 'Early and effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is extremely important when someone goes into cardiac arrest and can make the vital difference between life and death. We'd like to congratulate Mr Michie and Mr Hellier for their efforts on the day.'

Were you the man saved by Mr Michie and Mr Hellier? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk