AN Italian tourist who suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing at an airport has met with the paramedics who saved his life.

Antonio Perrelli was with his daughter when he went into cardiac arrest at Stansted on the automated rail system after arriving on an evening flight in August.

Two paramedics, Debbie McDonald and Kendal Lavery, worked Mr Perrelli with the help of a police officer and had to shock him three times before he regained a pulse.

Debbie said: "When we arrived, the train had been evacuated and screens were arriving and the airport’s customer service ambassadors were there with a defibrillator and doing chest compressions on Antonio who was laying across a bench.

"The airport team had been first on scene and were carrying out CPR and reassuring Antonio’s daughter who was travelling with him.

"After we got him to the floor, the airport ambassadors continued CPR while we attached our defibrillator pads."

Eventually Mr Perrelli became responsive to his name and the air ambulance landed at the airport to take him to hospital.

And, after a remarkably quick recovery, Mr Perrelli met those who saved his life at the airport before boarding his flight back to Italy with his daughter Daniela.

Debbie added: "The meet up was one of the proudest and emotional days of my life. We fought for his life giving every ounce of energy and emotion we had.

"To see him breathing, walking, smiling, happy, talking and his heart not only beating but filled with gratitude was the best feeling in the world."

The customer service staff who were some of the first on the scene had been taught their skills by ambulance service workers two years ago.

Rebecca Dow, a customer service manager at Stansted, said: "Our ambassadors receive excellent First Aid Response training by EEAST but they rarely face a situation like this during a shift.

"I was incredibly proud of my team, they acted brilliantly and showed determination and professionalism to ensure the patient survived."