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Hemel Hempstead supermarket delivery driver’s thanks to hero who saved him at death’s door

Peter Roberts and partner Barbara Wilton at their Gadebridge home.

Peter Roberts and partner Barbara Wilton at their Gadebridge home.

A supermarket delivery man who was classed as medically dead three times after collapsing on a customer’s doorstep has spoken out to thank the hero who saved his life.

Peter Roberts, who turned 71 yesterday, says he now feels fitter than ever after a sudden cardiac arrest left him with just a three-minute window for survival.

But had he not been delivering an order to the home of trained first aider Vince Herrera-Leon, he wouldn’t have got up again.

Peter, who works for Sainsbury’s in Apsley Mills and lives in Gadebridge with his partner Barbara Wilton, 67, had just handed over Vince’s groceries when he keeled over.

But the former Heathrow security expert knew exactly what to do, and sprang into action to administer CPR while his partner Karen Waylett called an ambulance.

Within minutes a first-response vehicle arrived, though amazingly paramedics were happy to let the 44-year-old keep up his good work while they prepared a defibrillator.

Peter, whose heart stopped twice more on his way to hospital – where he was put into a coma and later given a quadruple heart bypass – believes it was fate that brought him to Vince’s door.

He said: “How can you thank somebody for saving your life? I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t acted so quickly.

“If I won the lottery, I would give the lot to him.

“I believe it wasn’t my time to go, and that’s why it was at Vince’s house it happened.

“Saying thank you doesn’t seem enough – if there was anything I could do for him, I would do it.”

Incredibly, since his recovery Peter has gone on to help save the life of a woman who was trapped in her car after a road accident, and believes it was because of Vince’s actions that he was around to do so.

Peter and Barbara have now arranged for Vince to receive a prestigious lifesaving award from The Royal Humane Society to give him recognition for his selfless act.

Peter – who returned to work within months of his ordeal – still delivers to Vince’s Bennetts End home, and the pair have become firm friends.

Father of two Vince, who now works for Network Rail, had never put his lifesaving skill into practice before Peter’s sudden collapse last February.

He said: “It was a weird feeling – at the time your primary concern is trying to revive the person, it’s only afterwards that the shock takes grip and you realise what you have done for another human being.

“Every time I see Peter it’s still very much an emotional meeting.

“We have now got that common bond which I’m sure will last a lifetime.

“The fact that Peter survived and regained his full health is more than enough for me, but it will be nice to look back on the award and be proud of it. Not many people have experienced what we have.”

The unlikely pals will reunite for the award presentation next Saturday at the London Road supermarket.

 

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