Two lifesavers from Corby are backing a national St John Ambulance campaign to encourage people to learn first aid skills.
Television viewers will see a powerful new advert on Monday (September 16) during ITV’s Doc Martin programme encouraging people to help Save the Boy.
First aider Heather Crane, 65, who saved the life of her friend’s daughter, and Ross Dykes, 17, who saved his stepfather Colin Steven’s life in July when he recognised the signs of a heart attack, are both supporting the campaign.
When Mr Stevens became unwell Ross called an ambulance and administered first aid until the paramedics arrived.
He spent the night at Kettering General Hospital supporting his family and then returned home to provide first aid at the Corby Carnival as a volunteer with St John Ambulance.
On Friday (September 13), Ross won the Jimmy Kane Young Spirit of Corby Award for his life-saving actions.
The teenager, who joined St John Ambulance when he was 10, said: “I was so proud to be able to use my first aid skills to help save my stepdad’s life. My story proves that first aid really can be the difference between life and death. It is so important that everyone learns first aid as you never know when you might need it to help someone in need.”
Colin became unwell after complaining of indigestion for several days,
Ross said: “I took his temperature and pulse. He was grey and going blue round the lips and, although he was sweating, his forehead was cold and clammy and he had tightness in his chest. They were all the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.”
He gave his stepfather aspirin and within 10 minutes Colin was on route to Kettering hospital’s cardiac unit at which it was discovered he had a blood clot in his left ventricle. He had surgery to insert a stent and has now made a good recovery.
Heather was at a social evening when her friend’s daughter Emma, who was 11 months old at the time, started choking.
She picked Emma up and started giving back blows to try to remove the obstruction.
After four slaps Emma started to cry and Heather knew she was going to be OK. It was a massive relief for Heather, and Emma’s parents who were upset and shocked.
Thanks to Heather’s St John Ambulance first aid training Emma, now 19, is able to hear the tale of how her life was saved.
Heather said: “My husband and I were at a friend’s house, Tracey and Mark Seymour, along with their daughter Emma. We were having a lovely evening when Emma started to cough and then all of a sudden she was choking.
“It was a scary time for everyone but I was so pleased that I had the skills to be able to help. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to help someone you are close to. First aid is such an important skill for everyone to have. I would recommend everyone gains first aid skills.”
Research by St John Ambulance has revealed that 58 per cent of parents in the East Midlands lack the skills necessary to save their child in the event of a life-threatening accident.
Chris Thornton, regional director for St John Ambulance in the East Midlands, said: “Unfortunately, our volunteers can’t be everywhere so we’ve developed an online experience to help more people be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. We don’t want anyone to be helpless in a first aid situation especially when learning life saving skills is so simple.”
Viewers are urged to visit www.sja.org.uk/savetheboy to watch the new Save the Boy advert and learn the first aid needed to save the child.