Bethnal Green cop gives family ‘best Christmas present ever’ after saving pensioner’s life

Pc Harry Sage and Rene's son John stand together

Pc Harry Sage with Rene's son John and a member of the public who also came to 90-year-old Rene's aid. - Credit: MPS

A policeman who saved a pensioner’s life has been thanked for giving her family the best Christmas present they could wish for. 

Bethnal Green officer Pc Harry Sage was getting a lift to work with his dad when he saw the elderly lady lying motionless on the floor.  

Pc Sage’s dad pulled over and he ran to her aid, quickly establishing that 90-year-old Rene Dwan was not breathing and had serious head injuries.

She was freezing cold, leading the policeman to think she had been there a while. He managed to tilt her head in order to clear her airway and she started to breathe again. 

Pc Sage said: “The whole incident lasted about five minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. I’ve dealt with serious incidents before – on duty – where I’ve had the support of my colleagues, but this is the first time I’ve been faced with something like this on my own. 


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“The skills I learned in my training helped me to make quick interventions. I felt relief straight away when I heard her breathe. I reassured her until the ambulance arrived and asked some neighbours to provide blankets.” 

Rene was taken to hospital where she was treated for a broken nose and received stitches to her head. She also lost a couple of teeth. 

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The service believes without Pc Sage’s actions, it is almost certain Rene would have died.  

Rene’s son, John, wrote in a thank you letter: “[PC Sage] has given us the best Christmas present in the world, a mum who is alive and recovering well and who will hopefully be with us for many years to come.   

“Words cannot express the gratitude we have for this amazing police officer. We will never forget what he has done for our family and he deserves the best that life can offer. He is a credit to the police and you should all be very proud of him.” 

In the letter, Rene added: “I would just like to add my thanks for all that you did for me and for keeping me here with all my lovely family. I am eternally grateful to you. Thank you.” 

Pc Sage, reflecting on his actions, said: “Any one of us would have done the same thing had they been there. Seeing the impact my actions have had on the family was quite moving to say the least. I just hope they can have a good Christmas.” 

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