A Powys man who saved the life of a gym user who was in cardiac arrest is urging people across Wales to learn or refresh vital CPR and defibrillation skills.

Kyle Baggett from Builth Wells saved John Rawlins whilst working at David Lloyds Gym in Cardiff – and described it as "one of the most empowering things I've done".

He said: “It was just a normal Thursday at work. I was leading a fitness class like any other day when a member of the gym ran in to say there’s an emergency on the gym floor.

“I quickly rushed out to see John lying on the floor with some other gym members around him. I could tell straight away it was a serious situation.”

Mr Rawlins was suffering a cardiac arrest on the gym floor.

“We had to act quickly” said Mr Baggett “because we knew his only chance of survival was in our hands. One of the members started performing CPR while I rushed to get the defibrillator.

“We rang the emergency services immediately who then talked us through the whole process. I’m CPR trained but when you’re in the moment, it’s easy to forget some things, and the ambulance service was brilliant – very calm, clear, and precise, explaining exactly what we had to do.

“My mind was racing. In that situation, I had tunnel vision and I was fixed totally in the moment. I just wanted to save his life.”

Mr Rawlins was rushed to the University Hospital of Wales where he was treated by the medical team.

The recently retired sports lecturer, 64, from Machen, wasn’t aware he had any underlying health problems.

“I was a relatively fit man," he added.

"I enjoyed cycling and going on long walks, and I was known to be a bit of a ‘gym junkie’. The morning of the event, I headed to the gym feeling fit and well, then next thing I know I’m waking up in hospital in a trance like state six weeks later.

“18 months have passed and really, I’ve made an excellent recovery. I’m now able to enjoy life with my wife, Anne. We love to walk, and we’re able to watch our granddaughters grow up which is really special. Life is good.”

County Times: Kyle Baggett, from Builth WellsKyle Baggett, from Builth Wells

Around 6,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in Wales every year. Both Mr Baggett and Mr Rawlins are now urging others across Wales to learn CPR skills.

“It’s such a relief to see John doing so well," said Mr Baggett. "We keep in contact regularly now and have become friends.

“A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

“Around 80% of them happen within the home, to your loved ones, and your actions could be the difference between life and death.”