VERY special awards have been given to two Masefield High School students who helped to save the life of a teenager with cardiac arrest.

On Monday, July 14, Heartstart representatives Loraine Coleman and Tony Powell visited the High School to present Ben Stevens and Sam Seaborn, both 16, with Special Achievement Award Certificates, from the British Heart Foundation.

They were nominated after saving a 14 year old friend who had a heart attack in Much Marcle, last Easter.

A third teenager who was part of the life-saving trio, Rhodri Whittaker, also 16, will be presented with his certificate in the autumn at St Mary’s R.C. High School in Lugwardine.

On the first day of the Easter holidays, last April, four teenage boys from Much Marcle were out playing football near to their home. After the game of football one of the boys started to ride his bike home and appeared to fall off the bike onto the field.

His friends ran over to him, but he didn’t respond. Mrs Coleman said: "They initially thought he’d hurt his head, so put him into the recovery position. They then realised his colour had changed, - he wasn’t breathing and he was in cardiac arrest; he needed urgent assistance to keep him alive."

Luckily, Ben Stevens had learnt Heartstart Emergency Life Support Skills at the John Masefield High School, and he started cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). He sent the other two boys to call for the ambulance and to get help.

The two boys came back to wait with Ben, who kept CPR going for fifteen seemingly endless minutes, whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Mrs Coleman said: “It must have been a terrifying experience for all the boys, but they were extremely courageous and put their lifesaving skills into action to help save their friend.”

It was Mrs Colman who recommended the life-saving trio for the awards.

She said: “Well done to all three boys for keeping a level head, to Ben for performing effective CPR, for Sam and Rhodri for calling the ambulance, running to get help and for going back to help Ben.

“It must have been a very stressful experience for them all, but they did absolutely the right thing and by doing so they saved their friend’s life. They should be very proud of what they have done and I’m sure that their friend is very grateful that they were there to help him.”

The family of the boy who was saved has requested that he is not named in this article, because of the sensitive nature of the incident.