11:47AM, Thursday 03 October 2019
Quick-thinking lifeguards have been praised for rushing to the aid of a man who had a heart attack in a swimming pool.
On August 11, Derek Williams was swimming in the pool with his wife at the Magnet Leisure Centre when he suffered a heart attack.
When the lifeguards saw Derek was face down in the water, they jumped in and got him out of the pool.
Duty manager Alex Stewart quickly applied first aid and CPR while the paramedics were on their way.
A month later, Derek, on his way back to full health, returned to the centre to thank the staff that saved his life.
He presented all the staff with cards thanking them for their heroics as well as small glass plaques with grateful messages engraved on them.
Jonny Walker, events and marketing manager at the Magnet Leisure Centre, said: “If it wasn't for our fantastic lifeguards and duty manager that day, Derek would most certainly have died.
“He brought with him lovely cards and personalised plaques to give out, he could not put it into words how thankful he was.
“We are so glad Derek is on the road to recovery and it was brilliant to see him today with our lifeguards who were on duty.
Jonny added that he thought everyone should have some kind of first aid training.
He said: “It’s fantastic to see all the training that the lifeguards do put into practice.
"It was a shame it had to happen in that way but it does raise awareness that it can happen anywhere and at any time.
“I personally think everyone should be trained in first aid and how to react in emergencies, this kind of thing could happen walking down Maidenhead High Street."
The plaques that Derek gave out were addressed to each of the staff members that helped him in August.
They all read: “Thank you for saving my life at the Magnet Leisure Centre on 11th August 2019.
“I can’t thank you enough and I will be forever grateful.”
Derek had been a regular swimmer at the Magnet. After having a knee operation in his 70s, it was a comfortable way for him to exercise.
Once his doctor has signed him off, the Magnet’s staff hope to see Derek back in the pool soon.
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