A rescue dog pawed at his owner’s face as he started to slip into a coma – bringing him back to life.

Diabetic and partially blind David Yeoman’s blood sugar was dangerously low as he slept but Sandy the Yorkshire terrier cross would not give up.

The seven-year-old clambered over his 76-year-old owner until he woke up at 3am.

Mr Yeoman said he felt “woozy” and realised almost immediately that he had gone into hypoglycaemic shock.

He tested his blood sugar and it had slipped into dangerous levels.

Extra treats His wife, retired nurse Adele, 74, cared for him until he was well again.

Mr Yeoman, a retired National Coal Board worker from Heathfield, said: “It could have been lethal but Sandy saved my life.”

He explained howhe developed diabetes at 21 but was not diagnosed with the condition until he was in his 40s.

He said: “I was snuggled up in bed and I must have been in a deep sleep.

“Suddenly there was banging on my body. I thought it was morning but I sawcomplete darkness.

“I cannot understand how Sandy knew, although I have heard it happen before.

“He has always been special, our little lad.

“Who knows what would have happened if Sandy hadn’t woken me. It’s possible I could have slipped into a diabetic coma.

“I just don’t want to think about it. There have been plenty of extra treats for Sandy since this happened.”

Mrs Yeoman said: “Sandy had a tough start in life, having been found on the streets of London with injuries, most likely caused by an attack by a bigger dog.

“He has been such a joy from the start.”

The Yeomans got Sandy from shelter Raystede in Ringmer.

Chief executive Nigel Mason said Sandy had clearly found his “forever home”.

He added: “Sandy has shown how strong the bonds that form can be.

“There are many examples of pets intervening to help their owners and dogs are often trained to help those with sight and hearing problems amongst other things.

“Little Sandy has really proven the old adage that a dog is a man’s best friend.”