BY MATT BUNN
Monday, December 24, 2012
IT was the Christmas they thought they would never have.
Three weeks ago, 67-year-old Brent Dunningham was fighting for his life, after he collapsed in Walton High Street due to a heart attack and stopped breathing.
The former lorry driver was given CPR by a family friend and bouncer, Kylie Malapeau, 39, at the roadside and taken to Ipswich Hospital before being transferred to Papworth Hospital.
Having undergone a triple bypass operation, it now looks like Brent, of Queen Street in Walton, will be home just in time to celebrate Christmas.
His daughter, Andrea Pettit, said: “It’s a Christmas that we didn’t expect to have so we are really really pleased.
“It has been quite a tough time on everybody but I think it has given him [Brent] a new perspective on life. He is much more cheerful and jolly and determined to enjoy life.
“I can’t wait for Christmas – we’re going to be spending it at mum and dad’s house.”
Brent’s son Ashley Dunningham, 26, added that his dad told him he was determined to make it home for Christmas.
“He has come off the drips and had his first walk [yesterday] which he was really chuffed about,” he said.
“He’s very determined to come back [today]. The doctor is going to tell him whether he can come home or not.
“We don’t know what the doctor will say but obviously everyone wants him to come home.”
Ms Malapeau, who is trained in first aid, was driving past the Co-op in Walton High Street on December 4, when Brent collapsed.
When she reached him she discovered that he wasn’t breathing so she began to perform CPR and his pulse eventually returned.
Doctors said her actions undoubtedly saved his life and Brent’s family described her as a hero.
Mrs Pettit added: “I feel an immense sense of relief that he came round from the cardiac arrest with the help of Kylie and the doctors at Ipswich Hospital and the team at Papworth.”