The exterior of Nerja town hall, where the incident on Palm Sunday happened, and the two officers who saved the elderly man. E. Cabezas / SUR
'Guardian angels', in the form of two off-duty police officers, save life of elderly man who suffered a heart attack in Nerja

'Guardian angels', in the form of two off-duty police officers, save life of elderly man who suffered a heart attack in Nerja

National Police officers Elena Expósito and Alberto Álvarez, who were out with their families, raced to the aid of the 75-year-old man on Palm Sunday

Eugenio Cabezas


Tuesday, 26 March 2024, 17:30


Two off-duty National Police officers and friends were walking with their families around the Balcón de Europa in Nerja after enjoying lunch together on Palm Sunday about 5pm when screaming and shouting disturbed the peace and quiet of the area.

Elena Expósito, from Madrid and 44 years old with Alberto Álvarez, from Nerja and 47 years old, both rushed towards the commotion and spotted a man lying on the floor. His relatives told the police officers the 75-year-old had just suffered a heart attack.

Expósito and Álvarez didn't think twice and rushed to help. "He had no pulse, his face was purple, he was not breathing," said the police officer. She said she started to perform CPR with the help of her colleague and friend.

In a few minutes, "which seemed to last forever", they managed to get the man's pulse back - albeit "very weakly" but he slowly started to breathe again. "We then placed him in the recovery position, and that's when our colleagues from the Local Police force arrived, who brought along a portable defibrillator, but it wasn't necessary to use it," Expósito said. She is from the Spanish capital but has been living in the province for several years and is stationed at the provincial police headquarters in Malaga.

An ambulance from the Nerja health centre then arrived and took the elderly man to the Axarquia regional hospital, where he remains in the intensive care unit. Although in a serious condition, his prognosis is favourable and his life is no longer in danger, according to sources. "His family has called us to thank us for what we did, we saved his life, they tell us that we are his guardian angels," said the police officer.

Expósito and Álvarez said did not consider themselves heroes, they were merely "doing what we had to do". "In uniform we have had to deal many such incidents, but on Palm Sunday, with the Balcón de Europa in Nerja full of people, it was the first time out of uniform," Álvarez said.

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