Lifesavers!

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Top award for trio who help stricken grandad.

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Three heroes have been named in the nations lifesaver of the year after they revived a grandfather. Bolton arena duty manager Lesley Hough, Royal Bolton Hospital Nurse Tracey Garde and recently retired PC Garry Lee were winners at the annual UK Heart Safe Awards.

They help resuscitate Derek Smith from Blackpool, a 79 year old grandfather who suffered a heart attack outside the Reebok Stadium in May. He had been watching the whites clash against Blackpool and became ill shortly after the match. PC Lee, who was on duty, raced over the help and began CPR. Ms Garde, an off duty nurse, also went to help along with Miss Hough, Duty Manager at the Bolton arena, who took a portable defibrillator after receiving a call from the police. Mr Smith, who heaped praised on the trio as made a full recovery. Ms Garde said “We did what we want everyone to do, everyone needs to learn CPR. You never know when you may need it. I’ve done it hundreds of times in my nursing career, but it is different in the middle of a car park with a bunch of strangers and no equipment.”

Mr Lee was unable to attend the ceremony as he was celebrating his retirement with his wife in Grenada. He sent the group a photograph of him celebrating the award with a bottle of champagne.

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The glittering awards ceremony at the Raddisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Manchester recognise people that created heart safe environments and those that have saved lives.

Tracey Wilkinson, Fundraising Manager for Bolton ICD Support Group, was runner-up in the Fundraiser of the Year category. Since December last year the group has bought 11 defibrillators and plans to buys another 4 by the end of the year. Mrs Wilkinson, aged 31, got involved with Bolton ICD, as her late father Mark Eden, was heavily involved in the group. He had an ICD fitted but sadly died in 2008, aged just 47, four years after it was fitted. Mrs Wilkinson a Collision Investigator for GMP said “I think my dad would have been proud of me. I really wanted to give something back to the group that my dad set up. I nominated Tracey, Garry and Lesley and Tracey nominated me for the award. I hope it will encourage more people to get involved in helping to save lives. I didn’t do it for the recognition I did it to save lives in memory of my dad. Anything that will increase awareness is a good thing.”

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