Steve Patrick’s health was the winner after he collapsed from a suspected epileptic fit at bookies Betfred.
The regular punter was pondering his usual 50p wager on the greyhound racing at Doncaster and didn’t bet on ending up in hospital – but that’s what happened when he collapsed off his stool.
Newly promoted shop manager Tom Capps raced over to help Steve and after ringing 999 was told the ambulance would be severely delayed.
Tom got the unemployed HGV driver in the recovery position, but his condition was worsening.
Steve continued to be choking and fitting on the floor so Tom decided to contact his girlfriend Amy Noble who drove to the bookies in Silver Street, Kettering, and drove them both the two miles to KGH’s A&E department.
Quick-thinking Tom and nanny Amy have since been credited with saving the customer’s life – and it was all because he’d been sent on a Government-sponsored first aid course while on the dole 10 years ago.
Father-of-four Steve, 52, of Barton Seagrave, said: “No one really knows, despite all the scans, tests on my heart, head and blood what had happened but what I do know is that Tom saved my life.
“There is no doubt about that and I am very grateful.
“If I had been outside shopping or something then I could have been left or there might not have been someone like Tom around who knew exactly what to do.
“I consider myself extremely lucky to have survived.
“It is a complete mystery what was wrong with me.
“Tom is a smashing bloke, a brilliant lad who went the extra mile staying with me into the evening at the hospital while they checked me out.
“He shook my hand and made me promise I would come back for the follow-up tests.
“I bought him and Amy some flowers and a bottle of wine which is the least I could do considering I might be dead.”
Tom, 29, said: “I was behind the counter and saw Steve fall backwards and he was fitting while lying on his back.
“He was gagging for breath, choking on his tongue so I worked to get his airway clear and moved him onto his side which is the recovery position I had been taught on the course the Jobcentre told me to go on while I was looking for work.
“They couldn’t guarantee a time for the ambulance when the assistant manager Ben rang 999 because they were very busy so I rang my girlfriend Amy for help as I had walked to work that day and needed to get her to take us to the hospital as quickly as possible.
“I kept Steve still for as long as possible and then we got him in her Ford Fiesta.
“She’s started calling me Superman but that’s a bit over the top.”
But this wasn’t the first time Tom’s first aid skills have come into good use as shop assistant manager Ben Pryke, a friend of Steve outside work, is an epilepsy sufferer and collapsed and fell down stairs at his flat.
Ben, 32, said: “He knows exactly what to do clearing the airways and trying to calm the fitting after getting you in the recovery position.
“There was also the occasion when we were out in a night club and the lights were flashing, I went faint from my epilepsy and he just grabbed me and got me outside for some fresh air.
“He is a great lad and Steve was so lucky Tom was on duty three weeks ago when he needed urgent first aid.”
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “It is brilliant that Tom had such a presence of mind to keep calm and know exactly what to do to help one of his regular customers.
“For him to give up his own time to stay with the customer at the hospital is excellent customer service.
“I have been thinking about how to reward these fellas and will be fixing them up with a VIP day out at the races – and Steve can go too.”