It was an emotional reunion between two unlikely pals as a Sainsbury’s customer and his delivery man relived the life-and-death situation they faced together little more than a year ago.
This time, however, the supermarket’s driver Peter Roberts was meeting his hero Vince Herrera-Leon not to hand him his groceries, but a prestigious lifesaving award from the Royal Humane Society.
In February 2013, former Heathrow security expert Vince, 44, leapt to action when Peter, now 71, dropped dead on his doorstep after handing over his shopping.
With just minutes in which to revive him, Vince – who had never put his CPR knowledge into practice before – kept up his technique well enough to ensure Peter’s survival and subsequent hospital treatment, which resulted in a quadruple heart bypass and his full recovery.
Though the pair have cemented their special bond in the months since the emergency – Peter still delivers to Vince’s Bennetts End home regularly – the humbled heart attack victim wanted to do more to thank his lifesaver, and arranged for him to receive the accolade at the Apsley Mills branch of Sainsbury’s on Saturday.
Watched on by family members, the ceremony was a touching one for the now-firm friends, who say they have been on an incredible journey together.
Peter’s partner Barbara Wilson, 67, whom he lives with in his Gadebridge home, was instrumental in getting the rare certificate approved for selfless Vince.
She said of Saturday’s event: “We were very emotional, but it was very nice to give Vince the recognition he so deserves. We have told him he is not to put this award away in a drawer, but must display it proudly on the wall.
“This has been a wonderful way to wrap the story up – and it has had a very happy ending, thank goodness.”