A GRATEFUL Mayor of Bournemouth has paid tribute to the people who rushed to his aid when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Cllr Philip Stanley-Watts was rushed to hospital after he collapsed in the changing room of the Littledown Sports Centre.

Now feeling much better and able to resume his mayoral duties, he said he was immensely grateful to all those that helped him.

The incident happened in November but Cllr Stanley-Watts said it has taken him a while to piece together exactly what happened.

Initially, it was believed he had fallen while exercising in the gym but it now appears the problem was his heart.

The Boscombe West councillor said: “It would appear I suffered a cardiac arrest in the Littledown changing room and was knocked out for nearly 10 minutes.

“I must have hit my head because apparently there was lots of blood and it was feared I had fractured my skull.

“Then, when I got to Poole Hospital, an ECG revealed that something could potentially be wrong with my heart and I was taken to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital instead. I was there for nearly two weeks.

“I am so grateful to all the people that helped me at the Littledown and also to all the consultants and staff who treated me.

“I would like to thank the people that rushed to my aid. I didn’t know anything about it but when I came round there were loads of paramedics around me so they must have raised the alarm very quickly.

“I’m feeling much better now and just trying to get my head around everything that happened. It was a very strange experience.”