accessibility & help

Tony's story: 'You were dead five minutes ago'

Photographer Tony Taylor was leaving a football match when he felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. He was having a heart attack. Thankfully our volunteers were on standby.

“As I walked to my car I was on the phone to my wife when I realised I was really dizzy.

“I woke up on the floor and had been having a really vivid dream, so I thought I was asleep.

“I didn’t feel any pain, I felt fine, I actually felt really upbeat.

“When they put me in the ambulance someone said ‘you were dead five minutes ago’."

Tony, 53, had suffered a heart attack. Luckily, our volunteers Colin and Matt were nearby.

They saw Tony fall and performed CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the stadium car park. Other volunteers ran for vital equipment and the pair worked on Tony until the ambulance arrived.

Tony spent 33 days in hospital after a triple heart-bypass. When he was sent home, his one priority was to meet Matt and Colin.

“The guys are heroes”, he said. “Knowing I wouldn’t be here without them is a strange feeling, and all I could think about was getting out and thanking them.”


The trio were reunited. Matt, a student at Chester University, found it “incredibly surreal” to see Tony again.

“We kept wondering how Tony was getting on, but the NHS were really good at keeping our team updated with his progress. “

Tony has been left with an eight-inch scar on his chest and a 23-inch scar up his leg but is getting stronger. He even managed to file his photos from the Liverpool-vs-Tranmere match that day.

He was so touched by his experience with the Red Cross that he is going to become a volunteer himself.

“I can say thank you to Colin and Matt but that’s hardly enough. It goes without saying that I’m really, really grateful.”

You can save a life

Colin added: “I am incredibly proud that someone is still alive today thanks to the actions of me and my colleagues. Normally you don’t get to see the end result after you have helped someone. It was a privilege.

“For something as easy to learn as first aid, it has had such an amazing pay off.

CPR is something we practice the most but use the least – we just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

“I really hope hearing his story could encourage more people to learn first aid skills. In those first few minutes you can save a life.”