A former Crawley Observer reporter has been hailed a hero after saving his father’s life using a little bit of Bee Gees and a touch of Vinnie Jones.
Michael O’Brien, 37, learned CPR on a St John’s Ambulance course in Crawley while working at the Observer and used his skills when his dad, Tony, collapsed and stopped breathing.
Tony, only a few days short of his 76th birthday, had suffered a potentially fatal heart attack.
Michael remembered the British Heart Foundation advert in which footballer and actor Vinnie Jones demonstrates how to use the Bee Gees hit Stayin’ Alive to keep a steady rhythm when administering CPR chest compressions.
He hummed the tune as he fought to save his father’s life.
He was helped by his friend Melanie Peters, 38, who had been staying the night after going out the previous evening.
Paramedics who took over told them that their swift action had helped keep Tony alive in the crucial minutes before their specialist help arrived.
Tony is continuing his recovery in the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
Melanie said: “I thought Michael was a bit of a hero.
“He didn’t panic, bearing in mind it was his dad.
“In the circumstances he was pretty cool, calm and collected.
“The ambulance men told us if Michael hadn’t acted as quickly as he did his dad would have died.
“The important thing to stress from all this is that everybody should know how to help people in this situation.
“I helped a little but he was a bit more clued up about it all than I was.
“I just did as I was told.”
Michael, of Haywards Heath, said: “The Vinnie Jones thing came through into my head and we were humming Stayin’ Alive to keep up the rhythm and saying ‘Come on Pops’ and after a while he appeared to be breathing again.
“I really only did what anyone would do.
“To be honest when I saw Pops was having a heart attack something switched in my brain and just told me ‘you know you have got to do what you know you can do’.
“Pops has made an amazing recovery. I think everyone should get CPR training at school.
“Vinnie showed on television how simple it is, but it can save lives.”