13-year-old Ben Neal from Calverton recently received two awards for performing CPR on an 82-year-old man who suffered a heart attack on the motorway.
On 27th July 2019, Ben was travelling with his dad, Lee and his mum, Jessica to Chessington World of Adventures, when a car suddenly stopped in front of them in the fast lane of the M25. Mr Neal, a 35-year-old teaching assistant at Walter Halls Primary School, said that the driver of the car had jumped out in the middle of the road and ran around the car to his passenger who was suffering a heart attack.
Mr Neal’s wife Jessica, 32, quickly got out of the family car to run to the man’s aid, as she reached his side she signalled to Ben, who was still in the car desperate to help.
Despite Mr Neal’s reluctance to send his young son to the scene, he allowed him to go and help, he watched as Ben took control of the situation and perform CPR on the elderly man.
Mr Neal said, “He took the casualty out of the vehicle and he did CPR for about 10 minutes while the traffic officer closed the road down. I was quite reluctant to let him go because it can be quite traumatic, especially for a 13-year-old.
“The police were not sure how to use the defibrillator and Ben showed them how to use it and they were gobsmacked, and they nominated him for the chief constable commendation award. It was a high adrenaline moment, but Ben took charge. He stayed right up until the end when he was taken off.”
Ben managed to revive the man on the roadside before the paramedics came, but unfortunately the family later received a call saying that the man had passed away.
Ben, who attends Colonel Frank Seeley Academy, has since been awarded a national award from the Royal Humane Society for his efforts to save the man.
He learned CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation) while volunteering for St John’s Ambulance in Calverton at weekends, a skill reinforced at the Nottingham Sea Cadets, which he has been a part of since he was ten years old.
Ben said, “I saw my mum run across and a man was pulled out of the car. Autopilot kicked in and I just wanted to go over there and help. I think the award is great, but there are so many people that deserve to get it too.
“I would say to [other young people] to learn first aid as you never know when you might need it and you might be able to save someone’s life.”
Michelle Welsh, 50, the Lieutenant Commander at the Sea Cadets, who nominated Ben for the award said, “It was amazing the fact he got out the car and did not think twice about it. I’m really proud of him, I thought he deserves some sort of recognition. He learned CPR through the cadets and he has been volunteering at St John’s Ambulance since he was seven. He has a heart of gold and if he can help anyone he will go the extra mile. When his dad told me what had gone on I was welling up.”
Ben was awarded his Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate on Tuesday 17 December.