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Officer meets man whose life he saved while off-duty

October 12, 2021
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This is the heart-warming moment a police officer met a man whose life he saved after he rescued him not breathing from a car while off-duty.

Constable Lyndon Youd, of Nottinghamshire Police, was off-duty at the time and traveling towards Nottingham on Beeston Road, when he spotted a car not moving in the middle of a road on 24 August 2021, at around 11.30am.

After realising the man wasn’t breathing and slumped over the wheel with the engine still running, he sprang into action smashing the passenger side window with a house brick and pulling him onto the road to start CPR.

Now PC Youd and grandfather-of-two John Payne have met for the first time since he saved the 79-year-old’s life.

In an emotional reunion, John was able to hear from PC Youd about what happened that morning and thank him for saving his life and making sure he was able to see his grandchildren and great-grandchild grow up.

John, 79, of Beeston, explained how he has no recollection of the incident but will be forever grateful for PC Youd’s actions.

He said: “I was on my way swimming and I just felt funny and don’t remember anything else until I woke up in the hospital.

“I was very lucky to even be going that way because I usually take a different route swimming, but it was fate that I was and PC Youd was coming the other way and how lucky I was that he was there too.

“I still don’t know exactly what happened other than it’s some kind of neurological episode which led to a cardiac arrest.

“I had no idea what happened until speaking with him today.

“I’ve been able to get back to swimming already but I’m still taking it easy and just want to thank him for saving my life that day.”

Speaking about seeing John for the first time in person since saving his life, PC Youd explained how happy he was at being able to shake his hand and see him reunited with his family.

PC Youd, who has worked on the front line for over 20 years, said: “It’s really nice to see somebody that’s made a really good recovery and we’re able to talk and go through things.

“I get so many times when I’m not able to speak to someone and say thank god you’re here.

“I do believe in fate and it is fate that I was there on that day to help.

“I just saw John’s car in the middle of the carriageway and noticed it had stopped and I drove past slowly and he was in the front seat slumped forward and eyes open.

“I pulled over and ran to the car and went down to the side of a driveway and smashed the passenger side window and then started CPR and after a few minutes managed to find a slight pulse and by that time the paramedics had come along.

“The main thing for me is that he’s here.

“I want to encourage everyone to learn CPR as it’s a valuable life skill that I don’t think a lot of people can do but it’s something you’ve got to learn as you never know when you’re going to come across things like this.

“The public response has been amazing and the kind words of support for Mr Payne and his family and myself is so overwhelming and I’ve received messages from all over the world and I genuinely cannot believe it.”

PC Youd insists that despite being off duty at the time – his actions were all part of being a police officer. 

“I was off duty, but I was just doing my job,” he said.

“I also want to reassure the public that there are off-duty police officers out there who will always help where possible no matter if we are in our uniform or not.“But most of all I’m just so happy to see Mr Payne alive and in one piece.

“It’s very emotional to meet him in person after what happened but to know that he gets to carry on being a father and grandfather is the best feeling.”

John’s two daughters Joanne Payne and Angela Millhouse explained how they will be forever grateful of PC Youd’s actions and also for saving their own lives in the process.

They said: “There are not enough words to tell you how grateful we all are as a family for the amazing act of kindness and compassion you showed our dad, grandad and great-grandad.

“If it wasn’t for your swift intervention, we have no doubt that we would be facing a very different outcome.

“By saving his life you in turn have saved ours.

“On behalf of the Payne family and of course John we just wanted to say a very big thank you for everything you did on that day.”

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