A PENSIONER who collapsed at a garage when booking an MOT has thanked the mechanic that kept him alive for half an hour using chest compressions - despite having never had any training.

Now fully recovered, John Andrew, aged 78 and from Mylor Bridge, returned this week to thank David Spooner, owner of Cornwall Autogas and MOT Centre in Longdowns, in person.

John had taken his car to David's MOT centre back in February of this year for the first time, following a recommendation from a friend.

John said: "I don't really know what happened, I know I was going down to book an MOT and I must have just got out there and collapsed straight away.

"I found out afterwards that David gave me compressions for half an hour until the paramedics arrived. So he must have saved my life."

John was taken from the garage by ambulance to the Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) in Truro and then on to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where he had a triple bypass surgery to restore normal blood flow to three obstructed coronary arteries.

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Mechanic David Spooner said: "I was in the workshop and I heard my son in the office shouting.

"I came in and found John sprawled on the floor. At first I thought he might have had a stroke.

"I called 999 and told the operator he wasn't breathing. She stayed on the phone and kept me calm whilst I did resuscitation.

"I'd never done it before. She counted for me because I was panicking and going too fast. He stopped breathing three or four times and I pumped his chest and he started again.

"I sent my son to try and find a defibrillator but there wasn't one nearby. The ambulance turned up about 25 mins later. They got me to carry on resuscitating him until they were ready to use their defibrillator.

"They defibrillated him three times before he was stable. Then they put him in the ambulance.

"One of the paramedics asked me afterwards whether I had done it before. She seemed surprised that I hadn't. I've never had any training but have seen it done in the past.

"It wasn't until the paramedics took over and I sat down in the office that it finally hit me what had happened. It's hard to describe the way I felt afterwards."

John Andrew with Cornwall Autogas and MOT Centre owner, David Spooner. Picture: Colin Higgs

John's son visited David the next day to thank him, and kept him updated about John's progress in hospital.


When John was fully recovered and visited David at the garage, David said: "I didn't recognise John when I saw him. He was lost for words and so was I. He said he just wanted to thank me."

John's wife, Jacqui Andrew, also told the Packet of her huge amount of appreciation for David's heroic efforts that day.

She said: "I don't know how to put it into words really, it was so wonderful of him to work so hard and I think it was quite stressful for him.

"The first I knew of it was when the hospital rang me to say he'd been taken in, so I didn't hear the full story until later on.

"We are very very grateful to him. It's thanks to him that my lovely husband is still here.

"We can't put into words how we feel and how grateful we are to him really for saving my husband's life."

John added: "I've taken several cars in for an MOT at his garage since: it's my 'go to' garage now."