This is the tear-jerking moment a heart attack victim met his guardian angel who kept him alive for 10 minutes after he collapsed in the street.
Andy Jenkins, 54, was burdened for weeks with the belief that Pete Morris, 73, had died after he’d desperately tried to resurrect the granddad’s “lifeless” body.
But on Monday (Aug 9) – eight months on from the ordeal – the pair were reunited in an emotional encounter that was caught on camera.
Former snowboard instructor Andy warmly embraced a tearful Pete as they met in the flesh for the first time since the ordeal happened on November 20.
He had turned grey and was frothing at the mouth when unassuming hero Andy found him collapsed in a trailer parked on a residential street at around 3pm.
Pete and wife Jackie, 65, from Ware, Herts., had been working at a property in Harlow, Essex, as part of their house clearing business when Pete fell unwell.
Jackie said she heard an “awful noise” from Pete that “sounded like something being tortured” after he fell to the floor of the trailer.
She said: “I could see I was losing him. His eyes were bulging and he was going blue.
“There was an awful sound coming from him. It sounded worse than an animal in distress or something being tortured.
“It was the agonal gasp – literally the last gasp of air coming out of the body.”
Hero Andy happened to be passing by to pick up a prescription for his mother when he saw Pete collapsed on the floor of the trailer.
Distraught Jackie tried CPR on her husband of 45 years but couldn’t do it because of injuries to her shoulder and knees.
Andy stepped in and did CPR for 10 minutes – going “hell for leather” to give Pete a vital fighting chance by keeping oxygen pumping to prevent brain damage.
Andy, who works as a hairdresser in Harlow, said: “I was getting no response from him. He was gone really, he was grey.
“For the first few minutes there was some foam around the mouth but towards the end it was just a case of keeping the oxygen going – he was lifeless.”
“I thought ‘I’m not giving up on this’. With the adrenaline I wasn’t aware of the physical effort.
“I’d done a first aid course as part of a snowboard instructing course but never used CPR in real life.”
Paramedics arrived 10 minutes later and jolted Pete twice with a defibrillator – which flat-lined on both occasions – before treating him at the roadside for two hours.
Distraught Andy believed he was watching Pete die and offered his condolences to Jackie before leaving the scene while paramedics continued their work.
Andy said: “We were watching the defibrillator screen with nothing and I thought I was spectating someone’s misery.
“I didn’t think he’d made it. I thought the poor fella had gone.
“I was questioning myself whether I could’ve done more. I didn’t tell anyone about it apart from my wife.”
Air ambulance crews flew Pete to an intensive care unit in Lister Hospital in Stevenage, where he was in a coma for eight days.
Pete caught pneumonia while in hospital and spent a further three weeks receiving treatment but – miraculously – he was discharged on Christmas Eve with no serious side effects.
The family later discovered that Pete had suffered three cardiac arrests on the roadside. Figures show that just 8 per cent of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest.
While Pete was recovering in hospital, Andy wondered what more he could have done to save him.
But then Jackie made contact with him via Facebook to tell him that Pete had survived.
Andy said: “When I got the message it was incredible, a real rush. I knew I’d done as much as I could but up to that point I was thinking ‘maybe if I’d got there 30 seconds earlier’.
“Believing that I was watching this bloke go and then knowing he’d survived was a buzz.”
The group exchanged messages and spoke on the phone in January before finally meeting in the flesh this week at Pete and Jackie’s home in Ware, Herts.
They were joined by Pete and Jackie’s daughter Emily, 39, and her son Henry 5. Andy’s wife Jodie, 45, daughter Ava, 8, and granddaughter Amelia, 11, were also there.
Survivor Pete, who hasn’t suffered any side effects but doesn’t recall the incident, said: “The meeting was fantastic, I feel so grateful to him.
“It’s a strange position to be in because there aren’t enough words of thanks that you can say to someone.
“I’ve told him now he’s part of our extended family.
“Every day since that, Jackie and I are grateful for every day we wake up and the day we have ahead of us, and then we go to bed grateful for the day that we’ve had.
“I could have missed out on all of this. I’m so proud to have come through it.”
Andy described Pete as a “little miracle” and said the group will keep in touch.
Andy said: “Seeing Pete was incredible. He looked a lot healthier!
“It was unlike anything I’ve had before. I’ve gone from seeing this man – a dead person – to this man who’s so full of life.
“He clearly enjoys life and it’s lovely to see him with his wife, daughter and grandson.
“He’s a little miracle.”
The group have agreed to meet up again in the autumn.