Senior officer praises heroic off-duty officers and a nurse who saved a man's life on Seaburn Road
24 May | 10:07

A senior officer has praised heroic off-duty officers and a nurse who administered first-aid to a man who fell ill on a Seaburn road – and helped to save his life.

On March 11, Detective Constable Paddy Little was on a bike ride with his son when he came across 69-year-old John Walker on Dykelands Road who had fallen ill at the wheel of his parked car.

DC Little, who works for the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU), immediately came to his aid. He was supported by Police Constable Jonathan Buckster of Durham Constabulary, and nurse Sarah Watson from the NHS South Tyneside and Sunderland Foundation Trust, who were also off-duty in the area.

The trio worked together to remove John from his car and immediately administer first-aid and life-saving CPR until an ambulance arrived at the scene.

Further emergency service colleagues arrived within minutes, and John was swiftly blue-lighted to hospital for emergency treatment.

Officers from Northumbria Police also supported his wife Jean who had been buying fish and chips by the coast while John waited in their car with their dog. She was driven to hospital, and arrangements were made so their dog could be looked after and their car taken home.

And this month, John and Jean were reunited with DC Little and PC Buckster for the first time since the incident at Millbank police station in South Shields.

Their efforts were also formally recognised by a senior officer in Force, Superintendent Amanda Duminghan, who presented two of those involved with compliments.

Speaking at the presentation, she said: “The lengths that our officers and emergency services in the region will go to in order to help people never fails to impress me.

“I am so proud of the selflessness and dedication shown by Paddy, Jonathan and Sarah – as well as all of the blue-light colleagues who attended this incident.

“I have no doubt that their actions ultimately helped to save Mr Walker who thankfully had started breathing again when the ambulance arrived.

“Not only that, but police were also on hand to support his understandably worried wife, Jean, and make sure their dog was left in safe hands while they travelled to hospital.”

Supt Dumighan added: “Officers often carry out extraordinary acts of service – both on and off duty – and it’s only right we recognise those efforts. Well done to everyone involved – and I am so pleased that John is on the mend since the incident.”

Speaking after the reunion, John Walker said: “When I first saw Paddy and Jonathan again for the first time in person since falling ill, I couldn’t speak at first – I was overwhelmed with emotion as the realisation hit me.

“It was difficult for me to remember what had happened at first – and it took me quite a few days after having two heart attacks for it to sink in properly while I was in hospital.

“I know that I had started shivering and not making sense before taking ill while I was in my car parked up at the Seaburn coast, waiting for my wife Jean.

“I just feel very lucky that Paddy, Jonathan and Sarah were there to help me – and to all of the emergency services who arrived so quickly and were absolutely fantastic with me and Jean.

“We are so grateful for their amazing support and I can’t thank them enough for saving my life. Never will I forget them.”

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