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Gibraltarian life-saver given top charity award

A Gibraltarian man who helped to save the life of a complete stranger when he found him unconscious in the street has been recognised with a national award.

Stephen Sedgwick, aged 49, was named as a CPR Hero by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) during an award ceremony in London.

Mr Sedgwick received the award for coming to the aid of football fan Christopher Scovell. Christopher was returning from a football match in Portsmouth in December, when - just three days before Christmas - he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Mr Scovell collapsed in the road and several people walked past him. Mr Sedgwick who was visiting family at the time ran to his aid and started CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Paramedics rushed Mr Scovell to hospital in a coma and he later required triple bypass surgery.

Mr Sedgwick's actions were rewarded at the BHF’s CPR Hero awards which recognises the life-saving actions of people who step into help when someone is having a cardiac arrest.

“When I found Christopher in the road, my instincts just kicked in and I knew I had to save him," Mr Sedgwick said.

"I’m so glad that I was there at the right time and that my actions helped to save his life."

“Being named a CPR Hero was one of the biggest honours of my life. I am so proud to receive this award and now want to inspire others to learn life-saving CPR skills.”

Chief executive of the BHF Simon Gillespie commended Mr Sedgwick for his actions, calling him a "hero".

“We are proud to give this award to Stephen," Mr Gillespie said.

"Their life-saving actions make them a true hero."

“It is also a powerful reminder of why CPR skills are so important. In the UK, the lives of thousands of people each year could be saved if more people were confident about what to do when someone is having a cardiac arrest.

“That’s why the BHF is striving to improve survival rates through CPR training programmes and working with governments and local authorities in all the UK nations to ensure CPR is routinely taught in schools.”

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year and less than 1 in 10 people survive.

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, often because of a problem with the electrical signals to the heart muscle. Someone who is having a cardiac arrest will collapse and will also stop breathing.

For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest falls by around 10 per cent.

This year, the CPR Hero awards have been sponsored by Laerdal Medical, a provider of training products for life-saving and emergency medical care. The company’s Vice President of Resuscitation Jon Laerdal, was onstage at the event to present the winners with their trophy.