‘We tried to save tragic Chris’ life’

Adam Hennings and David Conlin, Chris brother
Adam Hennings and David Conlin, Chris brother
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Two men have spoken of the moment they desperately tried to save the life of tragic homeless man Chris Conlin after he collapsed in an alleyway.

Adam Hennings and Sean Aspinall took turns to perform CPR on Chris after he fell ill in Leigh town centre last week.

Chris tragically died on his 31st birthday after suffering a medical episode next to the William Hill betting shop in Bradshawgate. He was rushed to hospital after police and paramedics arrived at the scene, but he later died in hospital.

But Chris might not have been alive by the time the ambulance arrived, had it not been for the heroic efforts of Adam and Sean, who rushed to help save him.

Adam Hennings ran to the unfolding incident after seeing Chris’s brother David Joseph Conlin, better known as DJ, knelt by his side in the alley.

The 23-year-old said: “DJ was already doing mouth-to-mouth. I think he found him there like that. I started doing CPR and it seemed to be working.”

Adam, who learned CPR a few years ago during his training as a security office, said: “I did it for a good half an hour. He was turning blue, but as I started doing it his face got a bit more colour.”

After hearing the devastating news that Chris hadn’t survived the medical episode, he laid a bouquet of flowers at the scene, bearing a note which read: “Sorry I couldn’t save you mate. Rest in peace, you won’t be forgotten.”

Adam took it in turns to perform CPR with Sean, who was working in the William Hill shop, outside which the horrible event was unfolding.

“Someone came running in asking if we had a defibrillator, and they told us what was happening,” the 25-year-old said.

“I went out and I gave DJ some water, because he was doing mouth-to-mouth and his mouth was getting dry.”

Sean then took over chest compressions to give Adam a rest.

He commented: “On first aid courses, they always say to take over when someone is getting tired. I used to be a lifeguard, so that’s how I learned to do it.”

Despite the trio working tirelessly to keep Chris alive, Sean revealed he was not confident he would survive.

“When the paramedics arrived, they started to use the defibrillator on him, but I saw it kept flat-lining, so I had a bit of an inkling,” he said.

Commenting on the issues of homelessness across the borough, he added: “Something needs to be done about it. There are homeless support groups dotted around, so there is some help there, but much more needs to be done.”

Greater Manchester Mayor and former Leigh MP Andy Burnham was among the many people to pay tribute to Chris after his death.

Posting on Twitter, Mr Burnham wrote: “Feel absolutely gutted about this. Used to chat to Chris all the time. We all need to do so much more to tackle homelessness, me included.”

Two fund-raising campaigns have been set up to help cover the costs of Chris’s funeral.

The first, set up by Stephanie Seddon, can be found here and the second, run by Emily Johnson, can be found here