A RETIRED soldier thanked three off-duty NHS workers for performing a “miracle” in saving his life after his heart stopped in Bournemouth Square.

Ian Tennant, known as Tom, was walking back from his car to watch his daughter perform in a marching band when his heart suddenly failed and he began to fall to the ground.

Paramedic Francesca Cuff, a surgeon with his children and a GP all saw him on the ground and rushed to help the 61-year-old.

They performed CPR for 30 minutes to get his heart going again and keep him alive.

“I got as far as Debenhams and literally the lights went out and I just dropped,” he said.

“But next there was a miracle of miracles, you couldn’t make it up. As I fell down there was a GP who helped me.

“Then at the same time there was an off-duty paramedic who came and gave me CPR and there was also a surgeon from Poole hospital out shopping with his children.

“If it was not for them I would not be here now.”

Mr Tennant, from Parkstone, had seen the first half of a performance by the Meridian Marching band when he nipped to his car and suffered heart failure walking back to his wife Shelley.

An ambulance crew was called to help with the rescue effort and he is now in Bournemouth hospital.

Mr Tennant had a “slight” heart attack 16 years ago but has been well since.

“This came completely out of the blue and it shows just how vulnerable you are,” he added.

“It was an absolute miracle.

“I can’t thank them enough and the staff at hospital have been brilliant too.”