Charlton Athletic stewards save Addicks fan's life after Leicester match at The Valley (From This Is Local London)
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Charlton Athletic stewards save Addicks fan's life after Leicester match at The Valley
TWO heroic Charlton Athletic fire stewards sprang into action to save the life of a heart attack victim who collapsed in one of The Valley's toilets.
Clinton Walsh and Steve Nolan put their emergency training into practice when they got the call at the end of the Addicks' win against Leicester, performing life-saving CPR on 70-year-old Charlton fan John Lawrence.
Steve Nolan, also a firefighter based at Old Kent Road, described how they found Mr Lawrence in the West Stand toilets.
He said: "When we arrived the guy was laying face up and they were trying to get his pulse.
"We just kind of took over really, looking for vital signs.
"I held my cheek right to his chest and couldn't sense he was breathing."
Mr Walsh said: "It was obvious the person had no pulse or visible signs of life.
"He then took a gasp for breath, so we then started to administer CPR."
The pair requested a defibrillator from the club’s medical room and carried on with CPR until the doctor and paramedics arrived on the scene. They were also joined by steward Andrew Shaw.
Eventually the patient began to respond, developed a stronger pulse and started breathing unaided.
Mr Walsh, watch manager at Millwall fire station, said: "During this time, I kept reassuring John he was in safe hands.
"Just before he was being taken away by the paramedics, he started gaining consciousness and became aware of his surroundings.
"As I had control of his head I continued to talk to him to ensure he stayed alert."
He added: "John is extremely lucky to have been found when he was, as everyone had left the ground after the match and the outcome could have taken a different turn.
"He came back from the brink. We don't know how long he was there before we arrived but its within three minutes that the brain stars shutting down and losing its function. It was just right place, right time."
His colleague said: "I didn't expect it to work. CPR isn't always successful but we gave it a shot and we got him back.
"After they took him I shook Clint's hand and said 'we'll done, I'm really proud.'
"We were told he was sitting up in bed and the next day talking about the game. I just couldn't believe it, I was so happy."
After the match a representative of Charlton Athletic called the pair to let them know that Mr Lawrence was doing well and mentioned that the club’s chairman wanted to pass on his thanks.
And both stewards, who are massive Charlton fans, have been to see him in
hospital where he is recovering well and is being fitted with a pacemaker.
Mr Walsh said: "I told him 'this is the sort of thing this club does to you'."
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