You sir, are my hero. 

Doctor saves his pet tortoise by giving it mouth to mouth for six minutes after it nearly drowns in a bowl of water

Dr Waterfall had been tending his garden when he had walked past Atlas’s run and noticed that his pet was in serious trouble. He said: ‘I saw his back feet sticking up out of the water. I pulled him out but he was not breathing and was completely floppy. 

‘I did six minutes of mouth-to-mouth before he slowly started breathing and blinking.’

The doctor, who works at a GP’s surgery in Barnstaple, North Devon, admitted: ‘I was quite emotional at the time. 

‘I first started doing it and I had my mouth over his whole head, mouth, nose and nostrils. Then I changed it to sort of breathing into his nostrils. 

‘He has a run outdoors which had some water in a concrete container about ten inches long – the same width as his shell. He had just fallen in. He was essentially dead.’

Dr Waterfall’s wife Subhani had been putting the couple’s two-year-old son Harry to bed when her husband saved the life of their pet. 

The doctor told his son that Atlas had ‘been swimming’ because the boy was too young to understand what was really going on.

The family, who also have a cat, have had Atlas for a year and Dr Waterfall said that to lose him would have been devastating. He said: ‘When my wife came downstairs she said that Atlas is supposed to outlive us. He is not supposed to die young at eight years old.

Tortoises generally have lifespans comparable with those of human beings, and some have lived for more than 150 years. 

The pet owner took Atlas to the vet to be checked out and he was given antibiotics in case he had any water in his lungs.’The guys at work think it is hilarious,’ added the doctor. ‘There is a mixture of laughter and them kind of saying well done for giving it a go.’ 

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