Ian arrived and called for an ambulance but after being told it would take longer than an hour to arrive, he grabbed a defibrillator in case it was needed and along with another colleague, took Tony to hospital.
Upon arriving at Southport Hospital A&E, Tony was assessed and rushed to Broadgreen Hospital, where he underwent emergency heart surgery to have a stent fitted.
Now recovering at home, Tony credited Ian’s rapid response with ensuring he’s still here to tell the tale.
Tony said: “I had been feeling a bit of pain the night before but didn’t think anything of it.
“Ian saved my life and I will always be grateful for that. He’s an absolute hero.
“Luckily for me I was at work with people who are first aid trained. A lot of people who have a heart attack don’t survive.”
Tony, who plays football regularly, referees and has a physical job which helps keeps him fit, hadn’t even given a second thought to being at risk of a heart attack.
He joked: “I’ve been a season ticket holder at Everton for 57 years so maybe it’s the stress from watching them that has brought it on.
“I’m feeling much better now, but I have to be careful and not do too much because I’m still vulnerable at the moment.
“I just can’t thank everyone enough for what they have done for me. I’m living life differently after what happened and learning to appreciate things.
“A lot of people have said since they heard what happened to me, they are going to start looking after themselves more. It’s nice to think something good has come out of it.
“From when I had the operation to when I was discharged, the care I had at Broadgreen was absolutely second to none.
“I love my job and I can’t wait to get back to work.”
Ian said: “The first time I saw him after, Tony gave me a massive hug and I got a bit emotional.
“He’s a lovely guy and I’m so relieved we got him to hospital in time.
“Later that day I got a call from Tony’s sister to say he wanted to speak to me and I was blown away that the first thing he thought of after everything that happened was to say thanks.
“The whole thing really upset me because I knew Tony personally and what a warm fella he is. I’ll never forget the look on his face before we took him to hospital, it was really frightening.
“I’m just glad he’s on the mend.
“It just goes to show how important it is to get checked out for heart problems.
“Thankfully my team is all first aid trained and we knew what to do. You never know when you might need those skills and I’m grateful I was able to help.”
December 22, 2022