2:53pm Monday 24th February 2014
By Jeremy Culley
A HEROIC soldier helped save a pensioner’s life when he suffered a heart attack in a bank.
Corporal Jonathan Rodgers, aged 28, of Little Lever, a Second Battalion Royal Fusilier, was in the Bury branch of Nationwide on February 18 to meet a mortgage adviser.
He had returned from his Cyprus base just days earlier for a fortnight’s leave in the UK.
While Cpl Rodgers was waiting with wife Carol, 81-year-old Derrick Broome, from Prestwich, collapsed.
But Cpl Rodgers, who has previously served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland, put CPR skills learned on those tours into practice.
He administered CPR and Mr Broome was breathing on his own by the time paramedics arrived.
Ambulance staff told Cpl Rodgers that, but for his help, Mr Broome would probably have died, with 10 minutes passing between him collapsing and ambulance crews arriving.
Cpl Rodgers said he instinctively “took control” of the situation when Mr Broome’s condition worsened.
He added: “He was on the left side of me and next thing, I turned round and he was on the floor and had taken half the desk down.
“Initially I just phoned the ambulance but when I came back in he had stopped breathing and everyone was panicking so I took control of the situation.”
Mr Broome, who is being treated at Fairfield General Hospital, is now recovering, and was well enough to thank Mr Rodgers from his hospital bed.
Cpl Rodgers said: “When I saw him on Wednesday, he didn’t have a clue and was well out of it.
“But he and his partner spoke to me on the Thursday which was nice — I’m just glad he’s okay.
“When the ambulance arrived the crew said well done to the paramedics as he was breathing again.
“They just said ‘it was this young man here’ and they shook my hand and said ‘well done’.”
Cpl Rodgers had returned on Sunday from a year with his regiment in Cyprus and is set to return on March 1.
He added: “I’m very glad my visit fell when it did as I was able to help Mr Broome.”
In July 2012, plans to scrap the Second Battalion Royal Fusilers were announced, forming part of a plan to downsize to 82,000 regular troops by 2020.
Colonel Mike Glover, the regimental secretary for the fusiliers, said: “They are trained to a high standard to administer CPR, but crucially soldiers have the ability to react to situations and not panic.
“This shows what serving soldiers are all about — trying to help people in their home town even when they are off duty.”
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