Back-from-the-dead Dales man thanks rescuers

A Derbyshire Dales man brought "back from the dead" by staff at our Bakewell Swimming Pool has returned to thank the people who saved his life.

David Berrecloth was visiting Derbyshire Dales District Council's pool last year with his wife Ellen, his daughter and granddaughter when he collapsed in the main reception area.

Cllr Carol Walker with David BerreclothPool duty manager Lee Rathbone and colleague Dave Pryor responded immediately, using a defibrillator and the kiss of life to revive Mr Berrecloth after it became evident he had stopped breathing.

On Friday (20 June) 83-year-old Mr Berrecloth returned to visit the pool for the first time since collapsing there 14 months ago.

The former herdsman, of Rowland, near Bakewell, said:

"It's been a long recuperation process but this is a trip I was determined to make. If it hadn't been for the fast work of Lee and Dave there is absolutely no doubt I wouldn't be here today. I can't thank them enough. This is an incredibly emotional day for me."

Of the incident itself, Mr Berrecloth said:

"My daughter and granddaughter were visiting from Suffolk, and I'd planned to watch them having a swim. They had gone ahead while I popped to a cash dispenser. I remember getting to the reception door at the pool and that's it. The next thing was waking up in hospital."

There were no signs of life when Lee and Dave received the called to help. They used the pool's defibrillator, placing the pads on Mr Berrecloth's chest. The analysis recorder advised 'shock' and after that CPR.

Chairman of the District of the Derbyshire Dales Councillor Mrs Carol Walker, who has pledged to encourage more defibrillator use throughout the district during her civic year, welcomed Mr and Mrs Berrecloth back to the pool on Friday.

"David is a perfect example of just how valuable a defibrillator can be," said Councillor Mrs Walker. "The smile on his face when he met Lee and Dave spoke volumes for just how happy he is to be alive – and it's thanks to the tremendous efforts of trained staff at the District Council's Bakewell pool."

Said Mrs Berrecloth:

"The way the lads responded was absolutely fantastic. They brought my husband back to life. It's true to say he really couldn't have picked a better place to collapse. In fact I'm now trying to persuade him to learn how to swim!"


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