KYLIE Malapeau is the toast of one Felixstowe family today – after saving the life of a pensioner who had collapsed in the street.

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The 39-year-old had been driving along Walton High Street in Felixstowe when she noticed a crowd of people around a man lying on the pavement.

Ms Malapeau, who is trained in first aid, immediately parked up and rushed to his aid.

She performed CPR on the 67-year-old – Brent Dunningham – after she couldn’t find his pulse.

Paramedics say her actions saved Mr Dunningham’s life.

The former lorry driver’s family today heaped praise on Ms Malapeau.

Daughter Andrea Pettit said: “If she hadn’t have gone over, my dad would not be here now.

“She was an absolute hero.

“We gave her some flowers on Saturday to say thank you and we want to encourage other people to make sure they know how to do CPR because if it wasn’t for her, my dad wouldn’t be here.”

Mr Dunningham’s wife Tina, added: “We will never be able to repay her for what she has done.

“We will be forever grateful.”

Mr Dunningham collapsed and stopped breathing outside the Co-op in Walton High Street last Saturday morning.

A crowd gathered around him – alerting Ms Malapeau who had been driving past.

She said: “I carried on driving but something just told me to go back and check everything was alright and that they had phoned the ambulance.

“I saw straight away that he was blue – he had no pulse and he wasn’t breathing.”

Ms Malapeau, of Langer Road in Felixstowe, immediately went to Mr Dunningham’s aid and got him on to his back to give him CPR.

Eventually a pulse was found and Ms Malapeau, a bouncer and former nurse, stayed with him until paramedics arrived.

She said: “He started to pink up a bit and I checked his pulse and it was going so I managed to bring him back.

“He took a big gasp of air and I just thought, thank god.

“He wasn’t breathing when I got there, he was clinically dead, he had no pulse at all.

“They (paramedics) said to me that he wouldn’t have survived if I had not done that.”

Mr Dunningham, of queen street, was taken to Ipswich Hospital before being transferred to Papworth Hospital last Monday.

He is now due to have a bypass operation.

Ms Malapeau had known Mr Dunningham for many years. She went to school with some of his children and worked with his wife.

She added: “It was quite a harrowing event because although you learn these things, you don’t generally expect to have to do it.”

■ Ambulance chiefs today said Kylie Malapeau’s quick actions undoubtedly helped to save Brent Dunningham’s life.

One ambulance was called to the scene at 10.13am after Mr Dunningham, who won a £23,000 bingo prize in 2010, collapsed on November 24 and the crew arrived at 10.21am.

In those few minutes, Ms Malapeau had given CPR to Mr Dunningham and got his pulse going – when the crews arrived – they were then able to shock to give him a regular breathing pattern.

Richard Dunne, a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “In those scenarios, the quicker we get to the patient, the better the chance of the man surviving.

“The fact that she (Kylie) got there so soon and took the action she did has basically saved his life and has meant that the crew was able to bring him back.

“It’s fantastic to have people like that who stop and are willing to help.”

Mr Dunne also encouraged others to learn CPR so if an emergency arises, they will be able to help.

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