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"Pub landlady saved my dad's life"

A landlady has been praised for saving the life of a pub regular who suffered a cardiac arrest as he watched the FA Cup football on the pub's telly at the weekend.

Barbara Kozsda is the landlady of the Gardeners Arms in Middleton - and sprung into action to give emergency CPR to regular Paul Fletcher, 64, after he collapsed in the pub on Sunday.

Grandad-of-four Paul is a lifelong Liverpool fan, so had arrived at the pub as soon as it opened on Sunday to settle down to cheer on his team from kick off at 12noon against Cardiff City.

READ MORE: The secrets and stories of Manchester's oldest pubs

But after only ten minutes of the game, he started to complain of chest pains before collapsing on the pub floor - prompting quick-thinking Barbara to give CPR for 12 minutes while she waited for an ambulance crew to arrive.

Barbara said: "I'm just happy I was there to be able to help, the biggest thing for me was that my brain didn't block and I was able to carry on with the CPR until the ambulance came, and that I did something good."

Emergency crew praised her efforts - and Paul's family say they can never thank her enough for her actions.

Dad-of-two Paul lives alone in Middleton since his wife died 7 years ago - and his family believe that going to the pub on Sunday is what saved his life.

Paul's son, also named Paul but known as Fletch, 41, said: "If he'd not gone out for the early kick off he would have died alone at home, there would have been no-one there to help him.

"The irony here is the pub saved his life you could say.

"The biggest thank you is to Barbara - the CPR she carried out for 12 minutes 100 per cent saved his life.

"The doctors even said the CPR he received was as good as any he would have had in hospital."

Paul was taken to Oldham Hospital on Sunday before being transferred to the Manchester Royal Infirmary where medics told family they should prepare for the worst as it would be a "lottery" as to how Paul would have been affected being without oxygen for "a good ten minutes" after his cardiac arrest.

But, to everyone's relief, he is now out of sedation and is so far responding well to treatment.

And among the first things he asked his family was what the eventual result of the Liverpool game was that he missed after his collapse.

Fletch said: "When he came out of sedation, he came round pretty quickly and was absolutely fine, they are saying so far there's been no damage whatsoever, and he's fully functional.

"He's a little bit hazy, but when we explained what had happened, one of the first things he asked me was what the score was in the game he was watching Liverpool play on Sunday!"

Fortunately, Fletch was able to report the good news of Liverpool's 3-1 victory over Cardiff in the FA Cup match which delighted his dad - a Scouser by birth but who has been living in Middleton for the past 40 years.

Fletch and his sister Liez Fletcher-Parker, 31, shared a Facebook post on Wednesday thanking Barbara at the pub and all the NHS staff who have helped their dad so far, and are now waiting to hear what further treatment he will need for his heart.

Fletch said: "He's not out of the woods yet, but it is treatable and we're waiting to hear next steps.

"He's been fit as a fiddle his whole life, and was still working as an odd job man until in the last six months he started treatment for heart disease which came out of the blue for us all really."

Barbara said she and other pub regulars screamed with delight when the text came through from Fletch that Paul was awake in hospital.

She explained in more detail how the events unfolded on Sunday.

She said: "Paul is a regular and came in early for the Liverpool match - he was the first one in so I put the telly on for him, he was singing away but then said he had a little chest pain and had his angina spray with him to spray in his mouth.

"I made some juice for him and got him to sit down, but then he just fell to the floor and he wasn't breathing.

"No one else was in the pub to help as I was the first one in with him, I was screaming, and went outside to see if anyone could help but there was no one anywhere outside.

"I learnt about CPR when I passed my driving test, but I've never had to use it before.

"When I could see he wasn't breathing, it was shocking, I admit I was panicking, I rang 999 and put her on loudspeaker.

"I remembered what I could do with CPR but I didn't know how deep I could go with the chest presses, she said 'calm down', and I said 'just tell me what to do' and I did it.

"When his family later texted me to tell me he was awake in hospital I was screaming with happiness, we are all so happy and wishing him the best."

Barbara has worked at the Gardeners Arms for five years, but has only been landlady for seven weeks - taking over when the previous landlord retired before Christmas.

Paul is one of a number of regulars at the historic pub on Grimshaw Lane.

Fletch said the community pub has been a lifeline in more ways than one for his dad in recent years.

He said: "Since mum passed away the pub has been a lifeline for him, it's been his crutch, his little social network as there's a lot of men of the same age, in the same boat.

"That's his get up and go to place."

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