Neighbours have praised pensioner Billy Hall after he sprung into action to help a man who was suddenly taken ill.
Mr Hall, 70, a retired plumber and heating engineer, had to knock down an alleyway gate and squeeze through a partially blocked door to reach the elderly victim.
He was then able to put into practice first aid tips learned years ago as he fought to keep the 79-year-old man warm and conscious.
He said: “I remembered that you had to keep victims awake and I was anxious he shouldn’t get hypothermia, so I just kept talking to him and was able to wrap him in a blanket.
“I went on a first aid course when I was working on building sites but never had to use it until now. But I am glad I knew what to do, because I could never have forgiven myself if I had not been able to help.”
More than an hour after the drama began the man was taken by ambulance to Grantham Hospital, where he is understood to be recovering.
Mr Hall was sitting down to Sunday lunch at his daughter’s home in Kingston Avenue, Grantham, when the alarm was sounded by a neighbour who heard cries for help.
Mr Hall, who has trouble walking after suffering foot injuries in an accident at work in 1988, said: “I dragged myself across the road to the house where the cries were coming from, only to find my way blocked by a bolted gate.
“I managed to rip the door down and then came to an outhouse door which was stuck. The man had collapsed inside and his foot was against the door, stopping me opening it.
“I am 6ft tall, but thin - my daughter says I need to put on some weight - and I was able to prise open the door and squeeze through.
“The man was in a terrible state. He was frozen stiff and couldn’t get up. He was shaking like a leaf and I was afraid he might go into shock.
“My daughter went to get a quilt and blanket and I talked to him while we waited for a response to our 999 call.
“People have told me the man keeps himself to himself, but I kept talking to him about all sorts of things for more than an hour.
“When police officers came they forced open the door.
“I was worried that I had damaged the gate, but the police told me not to be concerned and to go and have a cup of tea.”
Mr Hall visited the man in hospital on Tuesday because he was anxious to find out if he was all right.
He says the experience has highlighted for him how people should keep an eye out for neighbours, espcially the elderly and vulnerable.
He said: “We should all keep an eye out for our neighbours. You never know what could have happened.”
A police spokesman confirmed officers were called to Kingston Avenue at about 2pm on Sunday over concerns for an elderly man.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance.