A HEROIC bus driver has been praised after his quick-thinking actions saved a passenger with an undetected heart problem.

Daryl Smith spotted the female when she boarded the bus in Caversham and pulled over when he realised she was unconscious.

The 53-year-old called for an ambulance and after she was taken to hospital it was revealed she was suffering from a potentially fatal heart defect.

Mr Smith said: "I was relieved to hear the young lady was okay in the end. I was just doing my job and did what I would hope anyone else would do.

"Like my colleagues, I take great pride in my job and I love being a bus driver and looking after our passengers."

The driver stayed with the woman, believed to be in her 30s, until paramedics arrived on Upper Woodcote Road along with her relatives.

Mr Smith works for Thames Travel and was on the X39 service from Reading to Oxford when the woman was taken ill.

Following her recovery last month, the woman's mother wrote to the bus company to thank him for his efforts.

She added: "His prompt, calm action contributed to saving her life. He could not have been more kind and understanding and we are so grateful."

After springing into action to help the female passenger, Mr Smith arranged for a replacement service to ensure the other customers were not disappointed.

The paramedic, who attended the scene, also wrote to Thames Travel, adding: "I was very impressed by the professionalism shown by the bus driver.

"He had remembered the destination the patient had asked for and had noted she had not got off, he pulled the bus over and went to check on the lady, when he found her unwell he stayed with her and called us.

"He was kind and very helpful and seemed to care about all of his passengers, he also took time to console her very upset family members.

"He was a great ambassador for Thames Travel and the profession of bus driving."

Mr Smith received the Star of the Month award from Thames Travel for his heroism.