Award for three 'heroes' who saved grandfather at Bolton Wanderers v Blackpool game
HONOURED From left, Tracey Wilkinson, of Bolton ICD Support Group fundraising manager, Tracey Garde and Lesley Hough
THREE heroes have been named the nation’s life-savers of the year after they revived a grandfather.
Bolton Arena duty manager Lesley Hough, Royal Bolton Hospital nurse Tracey Garde and recently retired PC Garry Lee were winners at the annual UK Heart Safe Awards.
They helped resuscitate Derek Smith from Blackpool, a 79-year-old grandfather who suffered a heart attack outside the Reebok Stadium in May.
He had been watching the Whites’ clash against Blackpool and became ill shortly after the match.
PC Lee, who was on duty, raced over to help and began CPR.
Ms Garde, an off-duty nurse, also went to help along with Miss Hough, duty manager at Bolton Arena, who took a portable defibrillator after receiving a call from police. Mr Smith, who heaped praise on the trio, has made a full recovery.
Ms Garde said: “We did what we want everyone to do — everyone needs to learn CPR. You never know when you may need it. I’ve done it hundreds of times during my nursing career, but it is different when in the middle of a car park with a bunch of strangers and no equipment.”
The glittering awards ceremony at The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Manchester recognised people that created Heart Safe environments and those who have saved lives.
Tracey Wilkinson, fundraising manager for Bolton Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Support Group, was a runner-up in the fundraiser of the year category.
Since December last year the group has bought 11 defibrillators and plans to buy a further four by the end of the year.
Mrs Wilkinson, aged 31, got involved with Bolton ICD as her late father, Mark Eden, was heavily involved in the group. He had an ICD fitted but sadly died in 2008, aged just 47, four years after it was fitted.
Mrs Wilkinson, a collision investigator for GMP, said: “I think my dad would have been proud of me. I really wanted to give something back to the group that my dad set up.
“I nominated Tracey, Garry and Lesley and Tracey nominated me for the award. I hope it will encourage more people to get involved in helping to save lives.
“I didn’t do it for the recognition. I did it to save lives in memory of my dad. Anything that will increase awareness is a good thing.”
Mr Lee was unable to attend the ceremony as he was celebrating his retirement with his wife in Grenada.
He sent the group a photograph of him celebrating the award with a bottle of champagne.
Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park was shortlisted for Heart Safe Shopping Centre of the Year.
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