A bride saved her dad’s life at her own wedding reception when he collapsed and stopped breathing after strutting his stuff to Queen on the dance floor.
Kim Leary, 37, resuscitated John Douglas, 65, after he “fell like a sack of potatoes” bopping to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Nurse Kim and groom Iain, 37, then spent their wedding night in A&E at John’s bedside, still in their wedding outfits.
Dad John, who has heart problems, had uncharacteristically treated himself to a couple shots of tequila before shimmering over to the dancefloor.
But it put too much pressure on his heart and moments later he fell to the floor, and Kim watched in horror as he stopped breathing.
Unable to find a pulse, nurse Kim – still in her “massive princess” white gown – administered first aid, giving him lifesaving rescue breaths — which miraculously saved his life.
Speaking to the Real Fix podcast Kim opened up about how the best day of her life almost turned into the worst.
The mum from Chester said: “The day had gone really well, just as planned, kind of too good. You know when you’re waiting for something bad to happen.
“As we arrived at the church the sun came out, it was a bit cloudy before but then the clouds moved as we got there at 4pm so it was all perfect.
“It was bizarre to see him let his hair down. Socially he very rarely goes out or anything like that.
“He never usually really drinks unless he has a pint of mild when he’s playing pool with a friend or something like that.
“He’s always loved Queen. When we were kids he always had it playing and stuff.
“So when Bohemian Rhapsody came on, my best friend who was maid of honour ‘Oh my God Kim look at the dancefloor’ and my dad was there dancing to it.
“It was the first time I ever saw him dance.
“He was a typical dad dancer. He tried to do a bit of air guitar. Obviously the bit of tequila gave him a bit of confidence.”
Kim and Iain had an afternoon church wedding followed by a reception at Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel, on July 14, 2017.
One of the last songs the DJ played around midnight was Bohemian Rhapsody, and John hit the dance floor after having a couple of tequilas – both uncharacteristic for him.
He has suffered with heart problems for years – including angina and cardiomyopathy – and had already taken a mouth spray medication and beta blockers that day.
The combination of his medication, drinks and dancing caused his blood pressure to plummet, and put his heart to be under pressure.
He collapsed after saying goodbye to his daughter, who sprung into action as a trained nurse.
Kim told the Real Fix podcast: “To be honest it was only when my mum and dad were preparing to go that my dad had mentioned my mum was a bit shakey and she has diabetes so we were more concentrated on her and how she was.
“He didn’t mention anything about chest pain at all. And it was only when they were leaving for the taxi and they started to walk out of the reception that I noticed my dad was walking with my brother’s sticks because he’s in a wheelchair.
“I thought to myself ‘Why is he walking with those sticks?’ but I didn’t think too much into it.
“Then he just hit the floor. He just collapsed in front of me.
“As soon as he hit the floor I just went into work mode. He was kind of holding his chest.
“He wasn’t screaming but he was in a lot of pain. He was crying out with pain.
“He suddenly went unconscious and wasn’t making any noises anymore. I undid his cravat and did all the things to do in an emergency situation and immediately asked the hotel if they had a defibrillator just in case.
“I asked someone else if they could find any aspirin anywhere and asked someone else to dial 999.
“As all of that was happening in the background I was assessing him and had my hand on his chest and I couldn’t feel a rise and fall. And I couldn’t get a pulse either so I placed my cheek next to his nose and mouth to feel for breath just incase it was really shallow.
“I knew then he had gone into respiratory arrest and so I did what I’ve always been trained to do so just did two rescue breaths.
“On the first no response but it was on the second he then gave a cough so I got him straight into the recovery position and kept his airway open.
“Pretty much after that the paramedics arrived. They were very, very fast and took over then.
“It was weird I wasn’t upset at all. My hands weren’t shaking. It was like I didn’t actually know him it was bizarre.
“Like I say it was like he wasn’t my dad. It was autopilot.
“100 per cent that I thought I could lose him. But still I kept calm.
“I knew the reality of the situation. He’s always been a bit of a ticking time bomb with his heart.
“It was also my mum and dad’s wedding anniversary that day so that would have been like a double whammy not only for me but for my mum.”