Driver praised for using bus to take ill passenger to hospital

Martin Cornell

A QUICK-THINKING bus driver has been hailed as a hero after taking a passenger who collapsed with a heart condition direct to hospital in his double decker.

John Bishop, 69, was taken ill while travelling with his wife on Yellow Buses route 2a in Bournemouth.

Driver Nigel Cornell dialled 999 and was advised by paramedics to drive his bus with Mr Bishop slowly and carefully to the Accident & Emergency department at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Meanwhile other passengers on board, numbering about 20, were asked to transfer to other services.

The double-decker was about 100 yards from the hospital when the incident happened at 10.20am on Tuesday August 6.

Mr Bishop was diagnosed with a heart condition called bradycardia and is now recovering after having a pacemaker fitted.

His wife, Pamela, 65, said: “Nigel really is a hero in our eyes. I don’t want to think about what might have happened if he hadn’t reacted so quickly.

“My husband fell completely unconscious while we were on the bus and I just couldn’t bring him round. He turned completely white and clammy.

“It all happened so quickly and I am just eternally grateful for the calm way Nigel reacted. He is an absolute credit.”

Nigel, 53, who only joined the Yellows last November, played down the hero tag.

He said: “When something like this happens, you just switch off from bus mode, forget you’re a driver and just do what you can.

“The guys in A&E found it very amusing to see us arrive in a double-decker because I think that’s the first time it has ever happened.

“I’m just relieved to hear he’s recovering. It shows it was the right thing to do but I don’t really see myself as a hero.”

Gareth Edwards, Yellow Buses’ Customer Services Manager, said: “We always say our drivers go above and beyond but this is really taking it a giant step further. We are very proud of him.”