January 2015: Students praised for helping pensioner who collapsed


QUICK thinking teenagers who rushed to a pensioner’s aid when he collapsed and suffered a head injury have been praised for their actions.

Roy Waddington, 78, personally thanked the Haslingden High School students who came to his assistance and they have received a letter praising their ‘efforts and care’ from the North West Ambulance Service.

The three friends were on their way home when they saw Roy leave a bakery and walk across the town square in Rawtenstall before blacking out and falling to the floor.

Brothers Rowan, 13, and Aidan Hopkinson, 14, along with Rachel Schofield, 14, ran to help him and found he had smashed his glasses in the fall and cut his face.

Rachel said: “We just heard a massive bang and he was on the floor. I couldn’t have just left him there; It could have been my granddad. It was horrible.

“I had done a Heartstart course in school and I knew what to do from that experience.”

They took a jumper from one of their bags to put against the cut and Rachel held it against his head to stop the bleeding. Roy was not unconscious and was able to talk to the students.

Roy said: “I am glad I have had the opportunity to meet the young people who helped me and I am grateful to them and everyone at Kay Street Baptist Church who helped.

“I am a diabetic and I am not sure if that caused me to collapse. I am very glad they helped but have no memory of the incident.

The pensioner, from Raven Park, Helmshore, suffered a broken jaw, cheekbone and cracked eye socket in the fall.

Rowan said: “A couple of weeks earlier my brother and I had also done a Heartstart course at Whitewell Bottom Community Centre, which taught us about resuscitation and also what to do with a serious bleed.”

He now carries the Heartstart card around with him permanently.

There was an off duty paramedic in the area and a nurse and parishioners from nearby Kay Street Baptist Church also helped.

An ambulance was called but after 40 minutes it had not turned up so the Rowan got a wheelchair from the church and moved Roy inside the building.

His son was contacted and Roy was subsequently taken to Rossendale Primary Health Care Centre and then to hospital by ambulance.

Church member June Worsley said: “We had an exhibition at the church and Roy had been displaying his artwork.

“We didn’t know who the young people were who helped out but they were fantastic and very calm in their approach. We didn’t know how to say thanks.

“One of the people exhibiting was a nurse and she said the students were amazing.”

A letter was sent from the North West Ambulance Service to the students’ Headteacher Mr Mark Jackson. The letter, from Paramedic Cheryl Pickstock, explains how a Community First Responder, who was first on the scene, praised the actions of the students.

She says: “On behalf of the North West Ambulance NHS Trust, I would like to thank them for their efforts and care that they gave the gentleman, I am sure that they feel very proud of themselves.”

Roy spent eight days in hospital where several CT scans discovered a previously undiagnosed tumour on his pituitary gland. Fortunately is benign but is now being monitored.

The students have been rewarded at school being named ‘Star of the Week’ and received an invitation to a special coffee morning with senior staff.