HEROIC staff at Barnsley’s Metrodome have been hailed as lifesavers after a gym-goer suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest and defied slim survival rates whilst exercising in its gym.

Michael Rossi, 55, from Monk Bretton, was exercising at the gym when he began to feel ill.

After stepping off the treadmill and sitting down alongside it, he collapsed and ‘turned blue’.

His wife, Janet, said: “He went to the Metrodome’s gym as he does every day. He was on the treadmill and then fell ill he ended up sitting down next to it.

“The next thing he remembers is that he was being worked on by the staff about 25 minutes later.

“My husband had a cardiac arrest I remember him telling me that he loved me because he thought he was going to die.

“I’ve been told since that he went blue.”

Thanks to the quick-thinking staff at the site, Michael is still here to tell the tale and is hoping to be discharged from the hospital in the next few days.

Janet wants to praise the staff who really did save Michael’s life on that day.

“I want the staff there to have some recognition because they really deserve it,” she added.

“I received a phone call from the staff who told me that he’d had a cardiac arrest.

“The first thing they did was grab the defibrillator they saved his life and I couldn’t be any more grateful.

“It’s something that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Not many people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and I can’t thank them enough.

“I’ve been told that one of the first people on the scene was a 16-year-old lad they did absolutely everything they trained for and put it into practice. His heart must have stopped beating and without them he wouldn’t be here.”

Michael is now recovering in Barnsley Hospital and Janet said he is ‘doing well’ and the first thing he wants to do when he leaves is thank the staff.

The Metrodome staff who have been praised have been named as Gee Gee Mallows, Beckie Wright, Amanda Potter, Logan Johnson and Leanne Hinchcliffe.

A spokesperson from the site said: “We are proud of the staff involved. They instinctively followed their training and due to their efforts, managed to assist in saving the gentleman’s life.”