The heroic actions of a quick-thinking off-duty police officer have been praised by the family of a man whose life he saved.
Neighbourhood Beat Manager Steve Charlton was tearfully reunited with the father-of-one he administered CPR to after seeing him collapse suddenly in the street.
PC Charlton had been on his way to pick up his wife from work at about 5.10pm on August 17, when he saw civil servant Darren Wilson suddenly collapse near a bus stop in Benton, Newcastle.
The selfless PC immediately rushed to his aid and placed him in the recovery position while a passer-by called an ambulance. However, they soon noticed the father-of-one was struggling to catch his breath and his pulse was weakening.
Despite never having issued CPR before, PC Charlton’s instincts kicked in and he began keeping the 46-year-old’s heart beating, and was soon joined by a workman and a woman believed to be a nurse, who helped continue the CPR until the paramedics arrived.
After spending a spell in hospital, Darren is now recuperation at home.
Darren, from Ashington in Northumberland said: “I don’t remember much about what happened but I was definitely aware of a pressure on my chest and I felt like the lights were going out. It came as quite a surprise to me when PC Charlton visited me in hospital and told me the full story.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for what they did and still can’t quit believe it. I’m so happy to be home from hospital and I know I wouldn’t be here without PC Charlton and the others who stepped in and I’m struggling to express how grateful I am.”
His wife Lissa said: “We will be forever grateful to PC Charlton and the others who stepped in to save my husband’s life.
“Darren had been on his way home from work when it happened and the first I heard of it was when a sister from the hospital called me. I saw PC Charlton’s card in Darren’s things and contacted him because I had no idea what had happened.
“We’re just in shock and want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for their kindness. We want them to know how unbelievably thankful we are.”
PC Charlton said: “I am very pleased that my first responder efforts assisted with keeping Darren alive, I’m over the moon. He is the first person that I’ve had to perform CPR on and I’m very honoured to have played a part in saving his life.
“It was great being reunited with Darren and am pleased he is now at home recovering.”
PC Charlton added: “I don’t think people realise First Aid courses are something which really can help you save someone’s life.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Liz Hall added: “This is a testament to the commitment shown by PC Charlton to protecting the community, even while off-duty.
“Thanks to the quick intervention from PC Charlton and members of the public, Darren is on the mend and recovering with his family.
“Every day our officers achieve outstanding results and PC Charlton has demonstrated that this is an absolute way of life and the passion to serve and assist the public never stops.
“Our thanks go out to the members of the public who assisted and showed equal measure of resolve and concern.”