Man who “died” for five minutes resuscitated by Stoke Newington lifeguards

Ed Bray with "hero" lifeguards

Ed Bray with "hero" lifeguards - Credit: Archant

A teacher who stopped breathing for five minutes and was brought “back to life” by quick-thinking lifeguards at a Stoke Newington leisure centre returned to thank those who saved him.

Ed Bray, 35, was resuscitated by the fast-acting staff at Clissold Leisure Centre, in, Clissold Road after they pulled him unconscious from one of the complex’s 25m pools on April 4.

Mr Bray, a regular swimmer was unaware he was in difficulty until he suddenly shut down “like a computer, when the power cord is pulled.”

Mr Bray said: “The first thing I knew about what happened was when I heard the sound of loud breathing - that was me - I had started breathing again but it was really laboured. The whole experience was very surreal - I had stared death in the face - and very frightening.”

Ed had suffered hypoxia, lack of oxygen supply to the body, whilst swimming underwater at the centre.

The alarm was raised by another swimmer and hero lifeguards Kirsty Gifford-Pitcher and Darryl Kelley pulled him out of the water.

Manager Vicki Smith and lifeguards Filippo Fusi and Alex Rainsby performed six rounds of CPR on the former Archant journalist who had stopped breathing and had turned blue when rescued.

Most Read

They performed chest pumps and mouth-to-mouth for about five minutes until Mr Bray began breathing again.

He was then transferred to Whittington Hospital in North London, where he was monitored overnight.

Mr Bray said: “The lifeguards were absolutely brilliant, as were the paramedics and everyone at the Whittington, and I’m incredibly grateful to them all. I’m still a little sore and a little shaken but I’m here to tell the tale and that’s all because of the quick-thinking of the lifeguards. I want to say a huge thanks to them.”

Mr Fusi, a former beach lifeguard, said at the reunion with Ed on April 8: “I was so relieved when he started breathing again and then talking. I said ‘We’ve brought him back’. I’ve been quite emotional since it happened but seeing him now makes me really happy.”

Mr Bray is now fundraising for the Whittington Hospital. To donate, go to: