A takeaway boss wept as he hugged the mystery ‘lady in red’ who saved his life after he had a heart attack behind the counter.
Hamid Khazaee, 62, broke down and wept as he met off-duty nurse Pippa Hocking who saved his life.
And she fought back tears as Hamid kissed the hand which had kept his heart beating.
Pippa had performed CPR for 15 minutes on dad-of-four Hamid, keeping him alive until he could be rushed to intensive care.
He hugged her tight and told her: “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”
His family had released CCTV of his saviour as they tried to track her down.
It showed her spotty red dress, and the distinctive rose tattoo on her leg.
The mum-of-one was helped by pal Stephen Armstrong as Hamid lay on the floor of the restaurant in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
Hamid hugged them both as he said: “Without them, I simply would not be here today It is a miracle that they were there at the right time.
“As soon as I found out what happened, I wanted to meet them in person to say thank you. They are like my own children now.”
Pippa, 30, of Stanley, Co Durham, a nurse for three years, smiled as she told Hamid ‘to be careful’ amid the high emotion of their reunion.
“I am a proper softy, so I have been fighting back the tears,” she said at Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he was taken after the cardiac arrest.
“I told him to go home and have a nap! It’s absolutely amazing to see that he is doing so well.”
They were waiting to order when Hamid collapsed.
“My nursing training kicked straight in. Stephen started CPR while I checked for a pulse, then I took over. We brought him back once, lost him again and carried on until the ambulance arrived,” added Pippa.
“They got his heart back into a rhythm. We then stayed behind, closed the ovens, and shut up shop. When you work as a nurse, you are never off-duty.
“It was a case of being in the right place at the right time.”
Stephen, of Gateshead, an ambulance emergency care assistant for four years, said: "I’m delighted that he’s making such a good recovery.”
The drama came at 2am on Sept 22.
Hamid, of Riding Mill, Northumberland, needed heart surgery at Newcastle Freeman Hospital.
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