Off-duty doctors doing weekly shop save man's life after he collapses in North London supermarket

Michael Toppin who suffered a cardiac arrest with the paramedics who saved his life
-Credit: (Image: London Ambulance Service)


Two off-duty doctors out doing their weekly shop saved a man's life after he suffered a cardiac arrest near the tills in a supermarket. Michael Toppin, 76, from Hampstead, suffered a cardiac arrest in a supermarket on Finchley Road, North West London.

After his collapse, two off-duty doctors in the shopping queue heard cries for help from Michael's partner and rushed to his aid They performed CPR on Michael and used a defibrillator to restart his heart before paramedics arrived a few minutes later.

Michael said: “I didn’t have any warning. It came out of the blue. I’ve had regular medical check-ups and don’t have a history of heart problems in my family.”

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After preliminary care was administered, Michael was taken as an emergency to a nearby hospital. Two years later, Michael was recently returned with the medical teams at Camden Ambulance Station who cared for him.

Chloe Hobson, who was the first paramedic on scene and took Michael to hospital, said: “This is the first time I’ve met someone after we’ve treated them for a cardiac arrest. It almost brought me to tears seeing him live his best life now.

“It makes it all worthwhile and gives me goose bumps. The reunion was an important day for him but also for the crews who cared for him on scene. It was incredibly wholesome.”

Michael, formerly a creative director for ITV factual programmes, added: “I’m so lucky to be alive because people in the supermarket that day knew how to do CPR and there was a defibrillator available. My chances of recovery would have been very low if that hadn’t happened there and then.”

He went on to say: “I’m not back to my full strength but I’m starting to play tennis and go swimming to get my strength back. I’m alive.”

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