Revealed: Mysterious Essex Road lifesaver is scaffolder who jumped out of a cab to give CPR

Lifesaver Billy Dunne.

Lifesaver Billy Dunne. - Credit: Archant

The mysterious “Billy” who saved a man’s life in Essex Road by performing CPR is a scaffolder from Essex who was passing in a cab, the Gazette can reveal.

Lifesaver Billy Dunne.

Lifesaver Billy Dunne. - Credit: Archant

Witnesses said a stranger came to the rescue of a regular at The Kings pub who collapsed on Friday and thousands of people read yesterday’s Gazette appeal for Billy to come forward.

This morning, the man himself – 28-year-old Billy Dunne – called us to tell us what happened – and correct a witness who said he looked 16.

“I was in a cab and saw a crowd of people around a gentleman on the floor,” said Billy, who lives in Clacton-on-Sea but grew up in Caledonian Road. “Everyone was in a panic, so I asked the driver to stop and ran across the road and asked if everything was alright.

“He was in the recovery position and wasn’t breathing, I turned him over and felt for a pulse and there wasn’t one.

“I started CPR and after two minutes he gasped for breath. I carried on with the CPR until all the paramedics got there. They started to cut off his clothes and told me to carry on.

“Two police officers turned up behind me and one officer asked me if I wanted him to take over – I thought it was best to leave it in the professional’s hands.

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“There was a lady who was upset so I gave her a cuddle and said: ‘Good luck – I hope everything is gonna be alright’. Then I jumped back in the cab.”

Billy said he learned first aid while at St Aloysius College in Hornsey Lane 12 years ago – by chance. “I didn’t choose any options at school so I went with Skill Force, some guys from the army who came in and taught us survival techniques.

“I’ve used it once before but the man didn’t survive. What happened on Friday hasn’t left my brain since. I was going to pop into the pub this Friday to make sure everything was alright.”

The Gazette understands the victim, a man in his 60s named “Buster”, was a regular of The Kings and has since been discharged from hospital.

“I’d like to see the geezer again,” said Billy, upon hearing the news. “That’s made my year.”