Pc Jennifer MacGregor and Pc Grant Lennox leapt into action in November last year after spotting the 75-year-old lying in Dalkeith Road as they passed in their patrol car.
And the duo weren’t the only ones to come to the aid of the pensioner – with a qualified nurse and a crew of paramedics also rushing to help after stumbling on the incident.
First on the scene, Pc MacGregor, 34, quickly established through her first aid training that the man was in cardiac arrest.
She performed CPR for five minutes until another ambulance crew arrived, and then for a further five minutes while paramedics used a defibrillator and did their own medical work.
Meanwhile, colleague Pc Lennox carried out extensive inquiries to find out the man’s identity, before working with Pc MacGregor to establish his next of kin.
And despite admitting it was a “fairly dramatic scene”, the mother-of-one, who has been in the police for six years, said she remained “really calm” throughout.
She said: “I just thought, ‘That’s someone’s dad. That’s someone’s grandad’. You need to do your best, and I just got on with it. I honestly didn’t think he was going to make it. I just thought we were going through the motions. But I thought, ‘Right, we have to give this man a chance’.
“It was afterwards when the paramedic said they had a heartbeat, they had a trace, that I got a bit upset.”
The pensioner is now recovering at his home in Yorkshire after spending almost a month in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where Pc MacGregor visited him and was personally thanked by his wife.
“She said, ‘Are you Pc MacGregor?’ And she just hugged me and cried and said, ‘You saved my husband’s life’.”
The 75-year-old has since e-mailed Police Scotland thanking the officers for their actions and asked for them to be recognised. Both officers have now been put forward for the Chief Constable’s Meritorious Conduct Award.
Inspector Kevin Rafferty, of Craigmillar police station, said: “I’m proud of the two officers involved in this incident, who dealt with what was a difficult situation really well.
“I’ve been told that if it wasn’t for their actions, this elderly gentleman would not have survived. The gentleman was very grateful and it’s always appreciated when our officers are recognised for their work.”
Pc MacGregor added: “I feel quite humble that myself and Grant have been put forward for this award. I just think it’s part of my job and I don’t expect an award.”
The heartwarming tale comes on the back of the Evening News’ Shockingly Easy campaign, which seeks to fit life-saving defibrillators in sports venues across the Lothians. The drive is in memory of Jamie Skinner, 13, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest on a Saughton football pitch in 2013.