A hero sales assistant came to the rescue and helped save the life of a suspected heart attack victim who was lying helpless by the side of a road.

First aid trained Lewis Freeman, 23, jumped in to action and administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the stricken man, without any consideration of risk to his own health from potential coronavirus infection.

Lewis had been shopping in Portobello and was returning home to Musselburgh when he saw a number of people gathered around a figure on the pavement near Seaview Terrace.

Trained in first aid since he was 16 when he took an extra-curricular course at Musselburgh Grammar, the father of four has regularly updated his cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge and training.

No one at the scene had any first aid experience so Lewis set to work on the man with text book CPR techniques, working on his chest and giving mouth-to-mouth ventilation.

The man was not breathing on his own but Lewis’s actions, assisted by a passing consultant, was crucial in keeping him alive until paramedics arrived on the scene. Lewis has since received a phone call from the man’s wife updating him on his continued recovery.

Lewis said: “I was out shopping with my dad and we saw a group of people gathered around a body and pulled over the van. A few people were trying to help the man but none of them were first aid trained and instinct then kicked in.

“He was not responsive, training dictates you do all the necessary checks and then perform CPR, which was 30 compressions to two breaths. I only thought about the risk of coronavirus after the event. The chance of getting the virus is a smaller percentage than the 100 percent chance that if I did not act he may not have made it.

“There was a consultant with a medical background who also helped and told me how the man was responding and that he was breathing but it was very shallow. I’ve since heard from the man’s family and also the police that he survived and is making a recovery.”

CPR training can save lives – Photo by Claire Fleck Photography

Lewis, a sales assistant at ASDA, also put his first aid training to use a year ago at the scene of a road traffic incident in Inchview Terrace, Portobello, and performed CPR on the victim who had been hit by a truck, but sadly the man passed away due to injuries he had sustained.

“This just shows how important it is for more people to become first aid trained as you never know what scenario you might find yourself in. I was glad I was able to put all my training to use and to help bring about a positive outcome.”

Every year more than 3,500 people in Scotland are treated by the ambulance service after having a cardiac arrest but only around 1 in 12 will survive. To find out more about CPR visit Save A Life For Scotland.