A Sheffield man whose life was saved after he collapsed at a leisure centre with a cardiac arrest has dedicated his life to helping other people with heart conditions.
Mike Higginbotham, aged 63, from Firth Park, was midway through a workout at Hillsborough Leisure Centre in 2015 when he fell to the floor in agony.
He was saved by duty manager John Taylor, who performed CPR as other members of staff called an ambulance and used a recently-installed defibrillator to re-start Mike’s heart.
Upon arrival at the Northern General Hospital, he was diagnosed with a previously overlooked condition - a serious heart valve disease called aortic stenosis - which meant that one of his heart valves had become too stiff to let blood flow normally.
Mike has now returned to the scene of the ordeal to speak about his experience on camera as part of a new documentary film for Heart Valve Voice, the UK’s dedicated heart valve disease charity.
He said: “I’m so glad there were people there who knew what to do in a crisis.
“I don’t remember much - I was out with the fairies but when I came round later, I realised how lucky I’d been. If it wasn’t for John and the team, I wouldn’t be here today.
“I want to help spread the word about how important it is to do CPR, and also to get defibrillators installed in public places.”
Life-saver John Taylor said of the incident: “It was the first time I’d done CPR, and it is a strange experience.
“But you have to get on with it and try.
“I was doing the chest compressions before the defibrillator arrived and I know it made a big difference.”
Following the incident, John trained as a community first responder, has helped save another life by carrying out CPR at the venue, and now works for the ambulance service and has dealt with many similar incidents.
Tim Hicks, general manager at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, said: “This documentary is essential to mark the importance of two things: the role CPR plays in situations like these and the need for defibrillators to be installed at every gym.”