Ipswich: Man finds “true meaning of Christmas” after rescuing driver suffering suspected seizure

Local hero Rob Bridgeman, who, while checking the water at Fore Street Baths on Christmas Day went t

Local hero Rob Bridgeman, who, while checking the water at Fore Street Baths on Christmas Day went to the aid of a driver who had an accident. - Credit: Lucy Taylor

A Good Samaritan who came to the rescue of an elderly motorist taken ill on Christmas Day has been inspired to help others during every festive holiday to come.

Local hero Rob Bridgeman, who, while checking the water at Fore Street Baths on Christmas Day went t

Local hero Rob Bridgeman, who, while checking the water at Fore Street Baths on Christmas Day went to the aid of a driver who had an accident. - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Ipswich man Rob Bridgeman said his good deed taught him the “true meaning of Christmas” and gave him a new perspective on the season of goodwill.

“It felt brilliant to have helped someone out at Christmas – much better than just sitting about at home,” he said.

“Normally, if something like this happened, I’d have wished I was somewhere else, but now I’d rather be there to help.

“And so next Christmas I’m going to volunteer at a charity.

“There are people who need help and it makes you feel good to do something worthwhile, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

The 45-year-old duty manager at Fore Street Swimming Pool, Ipswich, was testing the water on Christmas morning when he heard an “almighty bang” outside.

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“I looked out and saw a car by the tattoo shop across the road,” he said.

“The old boy who was driving was shaking terribly, it looked as though he’d had some sort of seizure, and his wife was inside getting fairly alarmed by it all.”

Mr Bridgeman, who teaches lifesaving as part of his job, checked on the motorist’s vital signs and ensured his airways were clear.

He dashed back inside to grab his phone and called the emergency services, returning to the car to keep the man’s wife calm until the paramedics arrived.

With help from the police, he was able to force the passenger door open, which had become trapped in the crash.

Once she was safely out of the car, Mr Bridgeman took care of the shaken woman while paramedics treated her husband and took him to Ipswich Hospital.

The kind-hearted pool attendant called past the hospital later that day and was relieved to discover the man he had helped save was making a good recovery.

Until they are able to return home, Mr Bridgeman will also keep safe the Christmas presents, which the couple’s car was laden with.

As the father of two adult children, Mr Bridgeman said Christmas had lost its significance over recent years.

Now, he hopes to spend those to come helping others.

“I’ve discovered the true meaning of Christmas,” he said.

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