Strangers save Stevenage man’s life after cardiac arrest collapse

Roger Porton suffered a cardiac arrest at Stevenage Household Waste Recycling Centre and his life wa

Roger Porton suffered a cardiac arrest at Stevenage Household Waste Recycling Centre and his life was saved by the staff there including assistant manager Jack (right). Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

A man who was clinically dead for five minutes after he went into cardiac arrest has been reunited with the stranger who saved his life.

Roger Porton was taking some items to the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Caxton Way in Stevenage when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

Alan Wheatley, the site manager at the recycling centre, said: “He was laying on the floor in the middle of the yard so I ran down to him and I checked his pulse. There was no pulse so I started CPR and shouted to my colleague Jack to call for an ambulance. I carried out CPR until the ambulance came.”

Roger, 71, was taken to hospital in a critical condition and his wife Lesley was told that, if he did survive, it was likely he would have brain damage.

After 10 days at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital, Roger is now back at home, having made a miraculous recovery and having been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator to treat abnormal heart rhythms.

Roger said: “I don’t remember the day it happened at all. I don’t even remember getting dressed. My wife said I made her breakfast, but I don’t remember that.

“I woke up the next day in hospital and didn’t know where I was.

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“I hadn’t been feeling ill at all. There was nothing unusual in the days leading up to my collapse.”

Roger has since been back to the recycling centre to thank Alan in person for saving his life.

Alan is first aid-trained due to his public service role, and Roger and Lesley, who live in Stevenage, are keen to recognise the life-saving action he took that fateful day – January 23. “Without it, Roger would not be here today,” Lesley said.

“It was the quick-thinking of the staff that saved his life.”

Alan said: “Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to think. My training just kicked in.

“The day Roger collapsed was also a year to the day that my daughter was rushed to Royal Brompton Hospital with heart problems.”

Amey, the company which runs the recycling centre, has presented Alan with a Stars Award as part of an employee recognition scheme. They said his “outstanding action” has left him with a “strong chance” of going on to win a Stars Award at national level.