A MAN whose life was saved by Metrodome staff earlier this year after his heart stopped beating finally got the chance to thank them in person following a five-week hospital stay.

Michael Rossi, 65, 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’.

He regained consciousness about 25 minutes later and was told he had had a cardiac arrest.

He said: “I can remember that I was doing my circuit training at the gym.

“I suffer from angina and usually after about ten minutes on the treadmill it flares up – but this time it took about 50 minutes and I thought ‘I feel great’.

“But it then got worse so I sat down – the next thing I remember was waking up and being worked on about 25 minutes later.

“I’d flat-lined so they weren’t able to use any equipment on me and instead had to try and get my heart breathing again.

“I spent five weeks in hospital – two weeks at Barnsley and the rest at Northern General.

“For about a month I had a neck brace and couldn’t move.”

A cardiac arrest usually occurs suddenly and without warning with the person quickly losing consciousness.

Their heart stops, they will have no pulse and people experiencing a cardiac arrest often die within minutes if they do not receive treatment.

A heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest.

In cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, less than ten per cent of people survive.

However, Michael beat the odds and made a recovery in hospital – and on Sunday he finally got to meet the Metrodome staff whose quick-thinking actions really did save his life.

“I managed to get out of hospital last month and on Sunday I finally got to meet everyone,” he said.

“It was really emotional.

“I didn’t know how well they’d been trained but it really opened my eyes.

“One of the people who helped me was a 16-year-old lad – it’s not every day you help save someone’s life.

“I think they deserve all the recognition they can get.”

Michael still needs to attend some rehab sessions at the Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Cudworth, but he’s hoping to be back in the gym before long.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to the gym,” he added.

“I know I won’t be able to do what I used to but even if it’s just a little bit of work that’d be great.

“I can’t put into words how grateful I am.

“It’s an experience I’ve never been through before and hopefully one I’ll never have to go through again.”