My Hero Boys

Brothers help mum who collapsed at home

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Debbie Murphy and sons

St John Ambulance



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Two brothers from Oaklands Primary School have been hailed as heroes after they used their St John Ambulance first aid skills after their mum collapsed.

Debbie Murphy, 34, has praised 10-year-old Rhys and nine-year-old Owen for the way in which they coolly and confidently took charge.

The mum-of-three, who gave birth to baby Max in April, is being treated for a heart condition which she developed during her last pregnancy.

After falling several times while pregnant, she had a cardiac monitor implanted in her chest and is currently under the care of a cardiologist at Ealing Hospital.

On 20 June, she suffered her most serious collapse while at home with the boys. Debbie explains: ‘My heart was racing and it felt like I was having a panic attack. I was going to call for help but then I was on the floor, not knowing what was going on.’

Owen told Rhys to dial 999 while he rushed next door to get some adult help. Debbie was unconscious and lying on her side but the ambulance control operator instructed him to lay her on her back and lift her neck to open her airway.

Debbie says: ‘The adults in the room were telling him to leave me as I was but Rhys was very strong and insisted on doing exactly what the ambulance operator told him to do. Both boys have practised handling 999 calls as part of their St John Ambulance training so they know how to follow instructions over the phone.

‘When the paramedics arrived, the boys gave them a detailed account of what had happened before I was taken off to hospital for tests. I dread to think what could have happened if I’d been on my own with the baby. I’m just so proud of them.’

Gerard Murray, Emergency Operations Centre Manager for the London Ambulance Service, said: ‘Well done to Rhys and Owen who did a remarkable job. The boys knew to call for an ambulance as soon as possible after their mum collapsed.

‘They listened to the call-taker’s questions and followed his instructions making it easier for the paramedic who responded to start treating their mum. Rhys and Owen are a credit to St John Ambulance.’

Both boys are pupils at Oaklands Primary School in Hanwell. They joined St John Ambulance as Badgers (the charity’s youngest volunteers aged five to 10) four years ago. Rhys became a Cadet* with the St John Ambulance Ealing unit in January of this year.

Owen is about to become a Super Badger  - an award given to young first aiders who successfully complete 12 activities ranging from first aid and healthy eating to camping and world cultures.

London St John Ambulance Youth Manager Kevin Munday says: ‘The first aid training Rhys and Owen have received with St John Ambulance enabled them to deal calmly and confidently with an extremely serious situation. Their actions demonstrate why we feel it’s so important for all school children to know basic first aid.

‘Our youngest volunteers learn how to save a life from the age of five and we believe it’s one of the most important lessons they’ll ever learn.’






22nd July 2015