TWO staff at a Wigan leisure centre whose quick-thinking saved a teenager’s life will be recognised with an award at a national ceremony in London this weekend.
Deputy supervisor David Collins and gym instructor Nick Hill became heroes after 15-year-old Patrick Horrocks suffered a heart attack while working out on the cross trainer at Hindley Sports Centre in May.
Nick began immediately giving Patrick CPR while David used the centre’s defibrillator to give him shocks to re-start his heart.
Now their actions have been recognised with a National Lifesaver Defibrillator Award, which honours lifesavers in local communities, given each year by charity SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) UK.
They will be presented with their awards at a ceremony hosted by the Royal College of Pathologists in the West End on Saturday evening.
David, 44, from Scholes, said: “To be given this is wonderful, I just never expected it at all. It came out of the blue.
“Granada Television did a report on us as well recently so I’ve been getting quite a lot of messages of support on Facebook.
“At the time all the training just kicked in. The defibrillator actually gives you instructions and tells you what to do, and after around 30 to 40 seconds he was more or less sitting up again.
“It really highlights the importance of all the first aid training we do. It was particularly scary because he was only a teenager, it’s the sort of thing I would expect to happen to a much older person.
“I’m really excited about the awards ceremony, and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust have generously paid our expenses.”
Nick, 22, from Pemberton, was first on the scene when Patrick collapsed and said it was a frightening experience which had really brought home the importance of regular lifesaving courses.
He said: “I was sat at my desk in the gym and saw him stop the treadmill and then just go down.
“It was terrifying because all his friends were in the gym at the time, but luckily one of my colleagues was able to keep them calm while I worked to give first aid.
“You go on the courses and think you wouldn’t be able to do the things they teach you in an actual situation, but once it happens you realise just how much you do know.
“I’ve never been to London before so I’m really looking forward to the ceremony.”
Stuart Murray, Chief Executive of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, which manages the centre on behalf of Wigan Council, said: “We’re extremely proud of the quick actions and professional way David and Nick handled this extremely stressful situation.
“The training and systems we have in place delivered when it really mattered.”