Holby City hero meets the Huntingdon man she saved

Huntingdon cafe owner Debbie Ross-Hardwood, with Manuel Vieira,

Huntingdon cafe owner Debbie Ross-Hardwood, with Manuel Vieira, - Credit: Archant

“I am just so grateful for what she did for me, I have no words to say.”

That was the message of Manuel Vieira after meeting Holby City hero Debbie Ross-Harwood for the first time after she saved his life.

The 65-year-old, from Portugal, was delighted to be reunited with the woman who leapt into action to help him after he suffered heart failure on July 15.

Debbie, 56, who runs Debest, in Huntingdon Bus Station, put into practice the life-saving skills she had learnt from the TV hospital drama Holby City.

Speaking through his daughter, Micaela Aveiro, Mr Vieira said: “Debbie is a very clever woman to be watching TV and pick up the skills from there.”

On the day of the incident, Mr Vieira had caught a bus from his home in Oxmoor, Huntingdon, to the town centre.

“I then got off the bus and sat on a bench and that was the last thing I remember.”

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Following his collapse, Debbie stepped in and started compressions to bring Mr Vieira around – in total she revived him four times before he was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital by paramedics.

“The next thing I remember is waking up in Papworth Hospital and I wasn’t sure what had happened,” added Mr Vieira.

After running tests at Papworth Hospital doctors revealed that he had suffered heart failure.

Micaela said: “The doctors said that if it was not for Debbie then my dad would not be here anymore.”

However this was not the first time that the grandfather’s heart had stopped, he has experienced heart failure on a previous occasions as well as having suffered seven heart attacks.

“My dad has now had a pacemaker and a defibrillator fitted – so if anything happens that will give him a shock,” added Micaela.

Mr Vieira is under strict orders from doctors to rest but, as soon as he is allowed to walk again, he has already made it his mission to go to the bus station to say thank you to Debbie once again.

Debbie, a mother-of-two, said: “I can’t believe how well he is looking, I’m glad that he is doing ok.

“I just did what anyone else would do.”