BOB Powley has been hailed a hero after he saved his wife’s life, giving her CPR for almost 20 minutes after she suffered a heart attack.

BOB Powley has been hailed a hero after he saved his wife's life, giving her CPR for almost 20 minutes after she suffered a heart attack.

The father-of-two, of Spiers End, Alconbury Weston, was called into action when his 64-year-old wife, Juanita, passed-out at the dinner table.

After realising his wife was no longer breathing, Mr Powley, 66, who has no first aid training, dialled 999 and then gave Mrs Powley cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

His life-saving actions on November 13 have won him the praise of both paramedics and his children, Nick, 36 and Danielle, 34.

Nick, a teacher in Cornwall, told The Hunts Post: "I have the utmost respect for dad. He'd never done CPR before and the person on the phone talked him through how to do it. He was there for about 20 minutes before the ambulance arrived. It was both physically and emotionally exhausting."

Mrs Powley, who survived a breast cancer scare, was said to have been feeling perfectly well that weekend. She and her husband had been for an eight-mile walk on Saturday and spent Sunday gardening.

"It was a total shock," Mr Powley said. "When I called 999, the person on the other end told me to get her on the floor as quickly as possible. Thank goodness I had a cordless speaker phone so I could listen to their instructions.

"They told me to clear her throat and air passage, and then talked me through how and where to press. They counted each compression with me for the entire time."

The ambulance team arrived within 17 minutes and started Mrs Powley's heart using a defibrillator.

"It was very frightening indeed to see her body lift into the air when they gave her the shock, but I can't thank them enough," said Mr Powley.

After being taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Mrs Powley was given a cooling treatment, known as therapeutic hypothermia, which minimises the risk of organ damage.

Nick added: "The doctors were very good in keeping us informed but they had to tell us the worst case scenario - that she could wake up in a vegetative state. I just burst into tears - it was a very emotional time."

After 24 hours, medical staff warmed up Mrs Powley and over the next two days she regained consciousness and was able to communicate with her family.

Last Wednesday (November 23), she was transferred to Papworth Hospital for more tests and yesterday (Tuesday) underwent a one-hour operation to insert an internal defibrillator - a device that delivers an electrical shock to the heart during periods of irregular heartbeat.

Nick added: "It's a miracle she's alive. Dad's a very modest man but if he hadn't acted as he did, things could have been very different."

Mr Powley said: "It was the people at the call centre who saved her life, not me, and I can't thank them enough."