Fitness instructor Lee Nicklin saves gym fan's life at Stone's Westbridge Park Fitness Centre
QUICK thinking Lee Nicklin saved the life of a fitness enthusiast who suffered a heart attack at a gym.
Fitness instructor Lee leapt into action when he was told a customer had collapsed in the changing rooms at Westbridge Park Fitness Centre, in Stone.
The 55-year-old victim – Russell Follows, from Stone – had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Lee, right, used CPR and an on-site defibrillator to keep Mr Follows, a regular at the gym, alive until paramedics arrived.
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Now the 39-year-old has been praised for his actions after Mr Follows survived.
Lee, who has worked at Westbridge Park for three years, said: "One of the other gym users came up to me to say a man had collapsed in the changing rooms.
"When I got there he was unconscious and I could tell he had probably had a cardiac arrest, because his face had turned a purple colour.
"I checked for a pulse, but there was none, so I knew I had to be quick. I rolled him on his back, ripped open his shirt and used the defibrillator.
"We have regular training to use the defibrillator. It starts working as soon as you put it on.
"I then continued to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived.
"While it was happening I didn't even think about it, then once it was all over I got a bit upset. The paramedics said it was common to get quite emotional after something like this.
"I was more concerned that he was going to pull through. Then first thing in the morning we rang the hospital and they said he had survived the night."
Mr Follows has only recently been released from hospital following his February 19 brush with death.
But Lee confirmed the modest gym member has since been in to thank him for his gallant efforts.
Lee, who originally comes from Stone and now lives in Stafford, said: "He said I had given him his life back. It was very emotional.
"But it was all part of the job. We are trained to use defibrillators and knowing that it saved this man's life demonstrates how important the machine and our regular training is."
Councillor Mike Smith, cabinet member for leisure at Staffords Borough Council, said: "Well done to Lee, he deserves all the praise he has been given. It is so important we have our staff trained to cope in this type of situation."