Man, 60, thanks Horizon Leisure Centre staff for saving his life after suffering a heart attack in the gym

A MAN has thanked leisure centre staff for saving his life.

Stuart Hoare, from Emsworth was working out at Horizon Leisure Centre’s gym in Havant when he suffered a heart attack that saw him collapse and stop breathing.

When alerted by gym staff of a medical emergency, duty manager Mike Davies and senior centre attendant Reece Parsons sprang into action and ran down to the gym to attend the incident.

Once they realised he was not breathing, the pair worked as a team to resuscitate Stuart by performing three rounds of CPR and using a defibrillator to bring back his pulse.

Stuart, who was 59 when the incident happened, but celebrated his 60th birthday a few days after, said there aren’t words to describe his gratitude.

He said: ‘For me to put into words what these two guys did for me is hard.

I would have to say that without their dedication and professionalism and hands-on experience I would not be where I am today.

They have definitely given me a second chance in life which I am extremely happy with.’

Doctors told Stuart that had Reece and Mike not acted in the way they did and as quickly as they did, he probably would not be here today.

Reece said: ‘We’re both really happy that Stuart not only was able to see his 60th birthday but will be able to celebrate Christmas at home with his family. He came into visit us and is planning on coming back into the gym when he is able to, with the specific recovery fitness plan we’re going to give him. We can’t wait to welcome him back and we hope he recovers well.’

Mike said: ‘It was very emotional, and Reece and I did have a hug afterwards. When Stuart told us that the doctors had told him that it was a surreal moment. The main thing is that he is still with us and is healthy.’

The incident has inspired the team to roll out first aid training to more staff across both Horizon Leisure Centres in Havant and Waterlooville.

Mike said: ‘All of the senior staff are first aid trained, but when you go to work in the morning you don’t always expect to be putting that training to use. We’re going to be making sure all of the senior team is first aid trained in the new year and hope to have everyone fully trained by May.’