TESCO staff heroically saved the life of a 68-year-old customer who spent four days on her floor after a fall.

Deirdre Taylor and her boss Vicky Turner first realised something was wrong when Val, a customer who visits Tesco Express around five times-a-day, stopped turning up to the store on Southchurch Road.

They decided to pay a visit and the pair were horrified to find Val on the floor of her self care flat, with flies coming out of her letterbox.

Deirdre, from Southend, said: “She always comes in multiple times-a-day so we knew something was up when she stopped coming.

“We did wonder if she’d gone away, but soon decided she would’ve told us, so we asked about and managed to track down where she lives.

"When we got there we could hear moaning coming from her flat. The smell was horrendous and there were a lot of flies coming out the letterbox.

“Me and Vicky looked at each other in absolute shock and started to frantically shout her name. We looked through and could see her on the floor lifting her hand in the air.

“Vicky called the ambulance while I ran back to the shop to get the defibrillator in case her heart stopped. They managed to bang the door open and rushed her to Southend Hospital.

“We think she had a fall - I asked her but she couldn’t answer because she was so dehydrated. She could only nod her head when I asked if she’d fell over.

“The doctors told us that she’d been there for three or four days, and that if we’d have found her any later she’d probably have been dead. The whole thing was truly terrifying.”

Deirdre and Vicky have been to visit Val four times since she’s been in hospital.

Deidre added: “I’m just glad she’s in the right hands and is being cared for. We went and got her some clothes so that she’s got something to wear while she’s there. We’ve all got such a good relationship with her.”