AN OSWESTRY family say they have been given an early Christmas present thanks to the quick-thinking actions of staff at an Oswestry pharmacy.

Neil Stewart, who turns 80 before Christmas, had picked up a proscription at the Day Lewis Pharmacy in English Walls on Wednesday, December 1 before planning to move onto an event at the Willow Gallery, in Willow Street.

Despite being asked to wait, he moved on. But staff were concerned about his wellbeing, and rang his his wife Penny.

It was a call that may have saved his life. After finding him – and picking up Penny to bring her to the pharmacy to phone an ambulance – he began to "fit violently" win the pharmacy.

"It is an extra Christmas present for us, absolutely yes," said Penny.

"They told me they wanted me to come down but not to drive as we'll come to collect you, which they did.

"By this time, Neil was semi-conscious; I don't think he knew I was there but they had laid him out cautiously and made him comfortable but after a while he started fitting quite violently.

"They took me behind the back and made me tea, and not long afterwards, the ambulance they had called had arrived and he was taken to Shrewsbury.

"They had also managed to locate Neil's car in the car park – he had left the boot open which was a sign he wasn't feeling great.

"Neil went off in the ambulance and they took me home in one car and another member of staff drove Neil's home.

"Their kindness and their care was exemplary – if it didn't happen as it did and this had happened to Neil elsewhere, the consequences might have been very different.

"If they hadn't gone to locate Neil, this would be a much different story – I don't know where they found him but they brought him back.

"They closed the shop and gave all their attention to us, and the kindness brings tears to the eyes."

Penny said Neil is on the road to recovery and added that the family Christmas will see one daughter and grandchildren coming from Norfolk to see him.

She added: "He was in hospital for three days – they did a brain scan and when we eventually came around and we were allowed to go, we were so pleased because we were prepared for much worse.

"He was almost himself again and it was wonderful.

"It's a real Christmas bonus."

A spokesman for the pharmacy added: "Mr Stewart came into the pharmacy and didn't seem himself. Staff members were concerned so decided to go out and look for him to bring him back to the pharmacy.

"Once they managed to get him back, they realised an ambulance was needed as he was poorly. They sat with him until the ambulance arrived with the pharmacist Alex.

"Other staff members fetched Mrs Stewart and comforted her while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

"The pharmacy would like to thank a member of the public who was in the pharmacy who helped get Mr Stewart into the recovery position with us."