‘Thank you for saving my life’

Derek Smith reunited with matron Tracey Garde at Lancashire Cardiac Centre, Blackpool .
Derek Smith reunited with matron Tracey Garde at Lancashire Cardiac Centre, Blackpool .
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A pensioner who suffered a heart attack at a football match has met the people who saved his life for the first time.

Derek Smith, 79, went into cardiac arrest shortly after leaving Blackpool’s match at Bolton Wanderers earlier this month.

He was saved after his daughter Maria’s partner Mark Green was able to alert a nearby policeman, PC Garry Lee, while an off-duty nurse, Tracey Garde, rushed to Mr Smith’s aid.

Mr Smith, from Bispham, has no recollection of the “terrifying experience” or the day before it, but is now recovering in Blackpool Victoria Hospital and received a visit from the lifesavers yesterday afternoon (23).

Grandfather-of-four Mr Smith put local rivalries aside to sport a Bolton scarf in honour of Trotters’ supporter Tracey Garde, who performed CPR on him outside the Reebok Stadium.

Mrs Garde, a matron at the Royal Bolton Hospital, said: “All that was going through my mind at the time was that this is somebody’s dad and grandad.

“I lost my dad four years ago and I thought I’ve just got to do everything possible to try and save this man’s life.

“In all honesty I didn’t think he’d survive, he looked so ill.

“When I found out he was alright I was absolutely made up.”

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