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'Guardian Angel' paramedic honoured

A London Ambulance Service paramedic dubbed a "guardian angel" for bringing a man back to life while on a family holiday in Brighton has been honoured with an award.

Mel Armstrong was on Brighton Pier with her husband and two children on New Year's Eve when she saw a man collapse at the slot machines.

The 34-year-old said: "I heard a loud bang and I turned around and there was a man slumped against a machine. As I looked down, I could tell instantly he was about to stop breathing. I did CPR and after a few minutes managed to get a pulse back."

Mel cared for the patient, Brian Smith, until an ambulance crew arrived and took him to hospital, leaving Mel not knowing if he had lived or died.

But Brian's nephew Mark House, who happens to work as a clinical team leader for the ambulance service, got in touch with Mel after he learned what happened. Mel, who was given a London Ambulance Service VIP Award for her action, has since met with Brian and his family and they have become firm friends. They plan to meet back on the pier this New Year's Eve to celebrate Brian's recovery.

Brian, 72, from Cheam in Surrey, said: "We normally go down to Brighton pier on New Year's Eve as a family. We got to the slot machines and someone turned the lights out on me and I went down like a sack of potatoes."

The grandfather-of-five, added: "If it hadn't been for Mel, I wouldn't be sitting here. She's my guardian angel. It was my lucky day that she was there. She didn't have to do what she did - she could have walked on, but she stepped up to the plate."

Mel, who has worked for the service for 12 years, added: "There were hundreds of people watching what was going on and as I left quite a few said 'well done' and shook my hand. I believe I was meant to be there that day and since meeting Brian, we just clicked and have formed a strong bond."

South has two of the best amusement parks in the top 10

Paultons Park in Romsey, Hampshire has been named the second best amusement park in the UK according to millions of visitors on TripAdvisor.

Brighton Pier has also been ranked the sixth best in the country.

Here are the top 10 best amusement and water parks in the UK according to TripAdvisor

  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
  • Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World, Romesy
  • Alton Towers, Farley
  • Drayton Manor, Tamworth
  • Thorpe Park Resort, Chertsey
  • Brighton Pier, Brighton
  • Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Wisborough Green
  • Sundown Adventureland, Retford
  • GreenWood Forest Park, Y Felinheli
  • Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea