THE brother of football legend George Best has paid tribute to a Blackpool hotel manager who saved his life after he suffered a potentially deadly heart attack.
Ian Best, 44, was staying at the resort’s Norbreck Castle Hotel with his wife Tracy on January 11 after winning the mini break in a raffle.
But when having a drink in the bar before dinner – Ian began to feel unwell, his vision blurred and he quickly lost consciousness.
Luckily for Ian, Norbreck events manager Mark Brockbank was called in to help while frantic staff waited for an ambulance.
Thanks to his training, Mark immediately recognised Ian’s symptoms as those of cardiac arrest and grabbed the hotel’s defibrillator.
The machine – which is just one of 25 placed in various hotels around the resort – shocked Ian’s heart and helped bring him back to life.
His quick thinking actions saved the supermarket manager’s life according to ambulance staff who arrived on the scene.
Ian, who lives in Torquay, today gave Mark his heartfelt thanks.
He said: “What do you say to someone who has saved your life? There will never be the words to express my thanks.
“If it wasn’t for Mark and the fact the hotel had a defibrillator, I could have been going back down the motorway in a coffin.
“I don’t remember much about what happened, I just remember feeling ill and fuzzy and then I woke up in hospital.
“I’m glad I’m still here to talk about it.”
Ian’s collapse was caused because his heart had gone into ventricular fibrillation which is a common but often fatal abnormal heart rhythm.
This happens when the electrical activity of the heart becomes so chaotic it stops pumping and quivers instead.
Only an electric shock can re-start the heart when this happens so every second counts.
Ian stayed in Blackpool Victoria Hospital for a week and was fitted with an implant which will automatically shock his heart if he was to go into cardiac arrest again.
Mark from Norbreck Castle told The Gazette: “I got a phone call to say a guest was possibly having a stroke, I went down and he was blue and wasn’t breathing properly so I immediately went for the defibrillator.
“It’s all a bit of a blur.
“Luckily we were trained by the ambulance service only a few months ago and the training just took over.
I’m really glad we had the machine in the hotel and I’m very happy Ian survived.”
Paramedic Donna Weare added: “The time factor played a huge part in Ian’s survival.
“The hotel staff were brilliant in recognising the signs and getting the defibrillator, Ian is very lucky.”
Ian and his wife now want to see defibrillators installed in Torquay hotels.