Lancaster taxi driver saves man's life with CPR in street after heart attack

A Lancaster grandad owes his life to a quick-thinking taxi driver who performed CPR on him in the street after he collapsed with a heart attack.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 9:12 am
Colin Walker pictured outside the San Siro stadium in Milan.

Dad-of-three Colin Walker lived to tell the tale after his life was saved by Peter Hirst, who happened to be driving past as Colin fell to the ground.

The 68-year-old - whose older brother Jack sadly died from a heart attack last month - said he would not be alive today if it wasn't for Peter.

Colin's heart stopped twice while Peter - who had never carried out CPR before - worked on him.

Taxi driver Peter Hirst gave CPR to Colin Walker.

And thankfully, Peter was able to revive Colin until paramedics arrived to take him to hospital.

Burnley FC season ticket holder Colin was returning from a match at Turf Moor when his heart gave out suddenly as he walked home from Lancaster train station on September 22.

And he says he cannot remember any of the drama, waking up in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary three days later.

Colin already wears a pacemaker following a mini stroke in 2013, which had to be recalibrated in hospital.

He remained in intensive care for a week, followed by three days in coronary care, before being allowed home.

And he was back watching his beloved Burnley, who he has supported since the age of four, two days later.

Colin was on his way home having stayed in a hotel in Burnley after a cup match the previous evening.

"Usually I would get a taxi home but I must have felt fine because I decided to walk," he said.

"I'd been to Burnley to watch a match the night before, but couldn't get a train back so I had stayed at a B&B, and got the train back the following morning.

"I must have walked up the slope towards Meeting House Lane and crossed the road and then all I remember is waking up on Saturday lunchtime.

"I can't remember anything about the match - I had to check I had actually been, and we'd won 4-1!

"When I went back to the next game I asked the man I sit next to if he had noticed anything odd about me the previous game but he hadn't."

Colin said he was later told how Peter had saved him.

Although the two men have not met up in person since, they have spoken on the phone.

"He just happened to be driving past and he did CPR until the paramedics came," he said. "Apparently I wasn't breathing so he got me going again.

"I am very grateful to him, he literally saved my life and I can't thank him enough. I know how lucky I am.

"I can laugh about it now. I got a Facebook 'friend request' from him and I told him 'friend' doesn't quite cover it.

"If I ever bump into him the drinks are definitely on me."

Peter, a long-standing taxi driver for 848848, said he didn't think twice before stopping to assist Colin.

"I was driving towards the station and just as I was approaching the corner I just saw him go down," he said. "He fell down between the wall and a lamp post.

"I pulled up straight away and jumped out and could see he wasn't in a good way.

"I had to lift him out from behind the lamp post, and I laid him on his back and I could see he was gone.

"His eyes were glazed over and he wasn't breathing.

"I just straddled him and started pumping his chest for about five minutes. He started started breathing again, so I turned him onto his side, but he stopped breathing again, so I rolled him back onto his back and started pumping his chest again and he started breathing again.

"I lost him twice so I just kept on going."

The 60-year-old, who lives in Grosvenor Park, said he is not trained in CPR and had never done it before, but knew he had to try something to help Colin.

"I didn't even think about it," he said. "I just got on with it."

In the meantime, another passer-by called 999 and paramedics turned up after 10 to 15 minutes and took over - and amazingly, Peter just got back to work.

"I just got back in my taxi like nothing had happened," he said. "I finished my shift about 4pm and didn't even think to tell my wife what had happened until about 9pm, I'd just put it to the back of my mind.

"I am just really pleased Colin is doing well and I was there to help him. I think a lot of people would have just driven past but I knew there was something wrong."