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  1. ITV Report

Two families saved in remarkable twist of fate

George Barrett with Greg O'Regan and Owen Nicks Photo: ITV Central

Many families are good friends, but few have a special bond like the Barretts and O' Regans of Nottinghamshire.

For in a remarkable twist of fate, two generations of the Barrett family have had their lives saved by two generations of the O' Regan family.

George Barrett, 67, from Ollerton, is only here today because of the quick-thinking actions of Greg O' Regan, who works at his local leisure centre.

Greg O' Regan Credit: ITV Central

The pensioner was working out in the gym, when he suffered a heart attack and collapsed. Mr O'Regan was first on the scene and started performing chest compressions on Mr Barrett, while his colleague Owen Nicks used a defibrillator.

Together the two staff members kept him alive until paramedics arrived.

Mr O' Regan told ITV Central:

"It was really serious. He was blue to the face, no pulse, no heart reading or anything. Basically I just did all my natural checks, started all my CPR - luckily within a couple of minutes, Owen came down with a defib, and the first responder was here within 14 minutes, so we can't complain at that."

– Greg O' Regan

Mr Barrett said: "I can't express how grateful I am to them. I owe them my life."

But bizarrely, it's not the first time that a member of the O' Regan family has saved the life of a member of the Barrett family. In 1991, George Barrett's grand-daughter, Kirsty - who was only a young girl, wandered off from a house in Ollerton where she was playing and fell into a nearby river.

Shaun O'Regan with Greg O'Regan Credit: Family photo

She was found by Greg O' Regan's father Shaun, who hauled out her out and gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

River Maun where Shaun O'Regan saved Kirsty Ward's life 20 years ago Credit: ITV Central

He went on to receive a bravery award from the Royal Humane Society.

Mr Barrett said it was incredible that lighting had struck twice:

George Barrett, 67, from Ollerton Credit: ITV Central

"It's such a massive coincidence, I don't think anybody could realise just in a little village how two families could collide in such a way."

– George Barrett

The two families have always been close, but it seems the O' Regans have now become the Barretts' guardian angels.