A GRANDAD who almost died after he had a heart attack at the wheel has met the two cops who miraculously saved his life and told them: “You are my heroes.”
Gary Cleverly, 59, collapsed when he was driving in Trowbridge, Wilts, and went over a roundabout before crashing into a lamppost and a tree.
SWNS:South West News Service Gary Cleverly has met PC Sarah Pickles, left, and PC Rachel Jackson, right, after they saved his life
Luckily two officers were in a van just yards behind him and jumped into action after he passed out in his Land Rover.
PC Sarah Pickles and PC Rachel Jackson, from Wiltshire Police, gave him CPR and managed to bring him back to life before the ambulance arrived.
He desperately wanted to meet the pair to thank them and Sun Online arranged for the trio to be reunited at his home in Bath, Somerset.
Gary told Sun Online he is “forever in their debt” and added: “They saved my life – it’s a simple as that.
SWNS:South West News Service The printer desperately wanted to thank the police officers and Sun Online arranged for both them to meet
“They are my heroes and it was amazing to finally meet them to say thank you.”
Gary was rushed to Bristol Royal Infirmary and was told by experts the potentially deadly heart attack was caused by a blood clot.
Doctors were later able to clear his arteries and he is optimistic about making a full recovery.
Gary, who was driving home after shopping in Devizes, said: “If the two female police officers weren’t there that day I would be dead. I’m extremely lucky to be here today.
He was driving his Land Rover when he had a heart attack at the wheel
“It’s been fantastic to meet them and I hope we can stay in touch – I’m forever in their debt.”
Mr Cleverly, a printer, said it was his first heart attack and it took him “completely by surprise”.
He added: “I remember driving and approaching the roundabout. The attack suddenly happened and apparently I went straight across it.
“I hit a lamppost and took that away and then hit a tree and destroyed that.
“The police officers worked on me for a long time and they must’ve known what they were doing, which is a fine testament to them.
SWNS:South West News Service Gary is now hoping to make a full recovery
“I am over the moon with what they did. I cannot say enough kind words about them. The police officers are my heroes and I can never thank them enough.
“Every time I hear sirens now, I think that other people may be going through something similar and are receiving fantastic help from the emergency services.
“I’m so grateful that I didn’t hit or take out anybody else. I don’t think I could ever get over that.”
The grandfather-of-six and his wife Kate, 60, a hearing therapy administrator, presented the officers with a bouquet of flowers to show their appreciation.
PC Jackson told him: “Like I said to your wife, I think it was meant to be. We were there right behind you.
SWNS:South West News Service The officers were thrilled to meet Gary at his home in Bath
“We remember you not talking because obviously you were very poorly at the time. I think you were mumbling to the paramedics.”
Describing the meeting, she told Gary: “For us it was quite emotional, even though we don’t know you.
“Not many people come round after CPR. I think it’s 10 per cent in hospitals, so I imagine it should be less outside.”
PC Pickles added: “We get called out to RTCs all the time but to witness one is very rare.
SWNS:South West News Service Sun Online put the officers in contact with Gary and arranged for them to meet for this first time
“We assessed Gary and realised something was wrong and his breathing wasn’t right.
“Rachel and I pulled him from the vehicle to further assess him and to see what medical attention was needed.
“I commenced CPR while Rachel called for an ambulance and asked for other units to come and assist. I just remember saying to him ‘come on, come on’ and ‘stay with me’.”