Darren saves his friend’s life

Darren Ripley saved Ian Hemingway's life after he collapsed after a rugby match. He treated him while waiting for the ambulance.

Darren Ripley saved Ian Hemingway's life after he collapsed after a rugby match. He treated him while waiting for the ambulance.

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A male nurse has been hailed a hero after helping to save a man’s life.

Darren Ripley, of Longfield Court, Heckmondwike, sprang into action and performed CPR on Ian Hemmingway, who collapsed following a pre-season rugby match.

The pair, who are both affiliated with Birstall Victoria Rugby Club, attended the fixture in White Lee Road, where the home side faced Normanton Knights.

Mr Ripley, 35, volunteers as a first aider and heard screaming coming from the pitch.

He said: “I heard someone shouting my name and looked around to see Ian on the ground.

“I checked his airways were clear but there was no pulse. He was blue.”

Mr Hemmingway, 63, of Shirley Avenue, Birstall, is on the rugby club’s committee and collapsed by the changing rooms.

Birstall Victoria Rugby Club secretary Mark Lockwood said: “He was walking along fine then just dropped to the floor like a stone.”

Shocked players and fans watched as Mr Ripley, a clinical support worker at Leeds General Infirmary, battled to keep Mr Hemmingway alive until paramedics arrived.

They treated him at the scene before admitting him to Dewsbury District Hospital.

Mr Lockwood said: “Ian’s face was purple, his lips were closed and his eyes were staring into space.

“Darren kept pumpinghis chest and the captain Richard Duffy made sure his air ways were clear.

“Darren was on the phone to his wife who works in the heart department at Dewsbury until the paramedics
arrived.

“He is a club hero.”

Mr Hemmingway’s son-in-law, Nathan Graham, said the family are extremely grateful for Mr Ripley’s actions.

He said: “Ian is recovering well at hospital. We want to thank everyone who was there and helped him.”