PASSERS-by on a busy Helensburgh street have been hailed as heroes after coming to the aid of a man who suffered a seizure in his car.

James Porteous, 56, took the sudden attack while driving his sister, Margaret Stewart, along East Princes Street in the town centre on the afternoon of Sunday, September 30.

Margaret, from Annan, and James, who stays in Dumfries, were on their way to see sister Morag who has recently moved to Helensburgh, when James had the seizure behind the wheel.

And Margaret contacted the Advertiser to express her appreciation for the help offered by strangers in their desperate time of need.

She said: “On behalf of my sister Morag and myself, we want to express our sincere and undying gratitude to the many strangers who sprang to my aid when our brother James suffered a seizure.

“Thank you to Amber who dialled 999 for me because my fingers were shaking so much I couldn’t do it myself and who passed on information to the ambulance service.

“To Marcus, whose first aid skills and calm handling of the situation may well have saved my brother from a disastrous outcome. To Katie, for jumping into the car to support my brother’s head and for helping me relay information to the call handler.

“To Neil, the firefighter, for his reassuring presence and extra pair of hands.

“To Peter and Katy for the use of their sitting room and provision of tea and biscuits to us all, and to Reuben, for just being there to support us and for the offer of a meal.”

James, a retired policeman, was taken to Vale of Leven Hospital and discharged the following day. He is now in a stable condition and awaiting a check-up from his GP.

But Margaret admitted she was powerless at the time as the seizure came completely out of the blue.

She said: “My hands were shaking and my legs had turned to jelly - I was utterly useless.

“Every single one of these amazing people dropped all of their Sunday afternoon plans to come to our aid and were even willing to stay with us for the couple of hours it took for the ambulance to arrive.”

Margaret said it took three hours for an ambulance to arrive at the scene. The Scottish Ambulance Service was approached for comment.

However, teacher Margaret was keen to pass on how grateful she and her siblings were and took positives from the terrifying situation.

She added: “It is easy nowadays to despair at the sort of world we appear to be living in but the help that was given to us demonstrates that our common humanity still binds us together. The evidence was there, in action, on that Helensburgh street.”