First aiders help save boy’s life

10 October 2006

The parents of a young boy critically injured in a junior motor racing accident have praised the St John Ambulance team who went to his rescue.

The chap from St John Ambulance was terrific – they all did a fantastic job.

John Stewart

12-year-old Chris Stewart broke his neck in the accident at Tongham Motor Club.The six-strong first aid team, who were on duty at the race meeting, were on the scene within 30 seconds and quickly identified a possible spinal injury. Team leader Richard Coleman held Chris’s head still while the fire service cut the car to free him – a delicate operation that took more than an hour. Chris was then taken by NHS Ambulance to Southampton General Hospital where he is being treated for his injuries.

Chris’s Father John said: 'The chap from St John Ambulance was terrific – they all did a fantastic job.' Members of St John Ambulance are on duty at Tongham at every race and undergo regular training in all aspects of first aid – in particular spinal immobilisation techniques.

David Harrison, Commander of St John Ambulance Hampshire, joined Chris’s parents in praising the team.  'I am really proud of the way the team carried out the rescue and treatment of this young lad. Any serious accident is traumatic, but one involving a young child is particularly difficult. Our members showed a very high level of professionalism and care. I can’t thank them enough for all they did on that day.'

The Alton team involved in the rescue were Richard Coleman, Steven Fish and Elaine Dowling. They were supported by Basingstoke members Keith Patching, Zoe James and Rebecca Pither-Townley.

Chris is still at Southampton General Hospital and faces a long road to recovery.