A grandfather has met and thanked a nurse who saved his life moments after he stuck up for her in a row on the London Underground.
Stephen Breed intervened when a man began hurling abuse at Polly Collins on a Metropolitan Line train on January 3, as first reported by GetWestLondon.
Moments later he suffered a heart attack at Uxbridge station. Miss Collins rushed to give him CPR while a member of staff shocked him with a defibrillator.
An ambulance then took the 65-year-old to Harefield Hospital, where he was fitted with a stent. He has since been discharged and is recovering well.
Mr Breed, who collapsed at the turnstile shortly before noon that day, was unconscious during the ordeal and so never got to meet the woman who saved his life.
On Saturday (January 10) the pair met for the first time at Mr Breed’s home in Sudbury, where he lives with his partner, Masdalina Panigada, 62.
They were joined for dinner by the couple's daughter, Sarah, 42, and grandchildren Vittorio, Liliana, Leah and Jay.
Retired warehouse manager Mr Breed said: “I thought I had to meet her, I just had to. When someone saves your life you can’t really not.
“I just thanked her. What can you say? It’s just unreal how it happened, surreal. There’s no words that can thank her for that.”
He added: “She’s absolutely marvellous. There’s no words. We got on very well and had a good laugh. She’s a wonderful nurse and a very down to earth, nice young girl.
“When I’m a little bit better and can venture out of the house I’ll go to see her again.”
Miss Collins had been on her way to work at Hillingdon Hospital when the drama unfolded.
The 43-year-old, who lives in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, said: “It was so emotional to meet him, it really was. I honestly can't put into words the emotion that was going through me that day. It was just something else. We got on like a house on fire.”
She added: “I'll definitely see him again. We're friends for life without a doubt. They're just such a lovely, down to earth family and they remind me of my own family.”
The mother-of-two, who is also a grandmother, was named Nurse of the Week by the agency she works for, Thornbury Nursing Services, which she said she was 'thrilled' with.
She added: “I'm so overwhelmed with everybody's praise – not just the family: it's been the media, the public, and the praise from my home town has been absolutely something else – and I'm not even back yet. I've had well-wishers as far away as America and Switzerland. It's just gone crazy. It's so nice to be recognised.”
A man has come forward to speak to British Transport Police (BTP) after officers released a CCTV image of someone they wanted to hear from in connection with the altercation on the train.
BTP is still appealing for a bystander believed to have filmed the incident on his mobile phone to call 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference number 130 of 03/01/2015.