TWO staff members at Basildon Hospital staff have been hailed as heroes after helping to save the lives of two strangers while on their summer holidays.

Rachel Gittins, a paediatric associate practitioner at Basildon Hospital, gave CPR to a little girl who was lifeless at the bottom of a swimming pool in Malta.

Dr Deepika Chhabra, a locum consultant in acute medicine, helped a man with a nut allergy suffering anaphylactic shock mid-flight.

The family of little Holly Lever, three, said they want to thank Rachel for her “quick-thinking and professionalism”.

They turned their backs for a moment to find Holly had taken off her armbands and jumped into the deep end of the swimming pool. She was found at the bottom by another holiday guest. Holly’s mum Kath said: “If it hadn’t been for her quick-thinking and professionalism, Holly wouldn’t be with us today and things could have been so very different.”

Rachel said: “Instinct just kicked in. I’m just so relieved I was able to help.”

Meanwhile, an airline has thanked Dr Deepika Chhabra for springing into action mid-flight and saving the life of a patient with a nut allergy.

Dr Chhabra was flying to Delhi to visit her parents in July when a call went out over the intercom asking if there was a doctor on board. The patient needed emergency treatment which Dr Chhabra administered with the help of the flight crew.

Dr Chhabra, said: “The excellent crew were amazing and very quick to do what I asked. The patient recovered well and remained stable during the flight, during which we closely monitored him.

“When I landed and told my parents, they were very proud and happy that I was good doctor and used my knowledge and skills to help save a patient’s life.”

Clare Culpin, managing director at Basildon Hospital, said: “It’s amazing to hear about the action taken by our staff, their professionalism, skill and compassion was outstanding. We are very proud.”