Schoolboy saves choking woman

rhys wareing

Quick thinking St John Cadet Rhys Wareing sprung into action and saved a choking woman on his way to school.

Schoolboy Rhys, 15, has been hailed a hero after saving Nicola Crawley, who started choking on a piece of toast whilst driving to work.

The food became trapped in her throat, and, unable to breathe, Nicola, 34, got out of her car and tried to call for help.

Rhys, from Oldham, is a trained first aider and ran over to her aid. Using his training and first aid knowledge of choking, he gave her four sharp blows between her shoulder blades and managed to dislodge the food.

They then went their separate ways. But after recovering a dazed Nicola, from Shaw, Oldham, remembered spotting Rhys' Royton and Crompton school sweatshirt and manage to track him down through a friend who works at the school and an appeal from the headteacher who did a special assembly to trace the hero.

I’d hate to think of what could have happened if he hadn’t walked past

Mrs Crawley's husband

Rhys said: 'At the time I didn't consider the significance of what I had done other than to instinctively respond to an emergency in the prompt way I had been trained.

‘It was a natural thing to help, I couldn’t just leave her.’

Nicola, a call centre manager, says she will be forever in Rhys' debt. She explained: 'I couldn't breathe and honestly thought I was going to die.

Mrs Crawley’s husband, a driving instructor, has promised Rhys all the lessons he needs to pass his test out of gratitude. ‘He is an amazing guy; I’d hate to think of what could have happened if he hadn’t walked past,’ he says of Rhys. ‘A lot of teenagers get a bad reputation but he did an amazing job.’

St John Ambulance Head of Training, Elaine Howlings, praised Rhys' efforts: ‘Rhys has done an excellent job putting his first aid training into practise and coming to the aid of someone who needed him. Many people would panic in that situation but he remembered his first aid knowledge and stayed calm and took control. We’re delighted with his actions.

‘This story goes to show how vital it is for school children to learn first aid. We can give teachers the resources to do it themselves or train pupils direct. Anyone who wants more information should get in touch.’