Northumberland boy, 6, praised for his 'incredible' initiative in helping his unconscious dad

A courageous six-year-old boy from Ellington has been awarded a certificate for his initiative and bravery.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 12 July, 2019, 06:00
Harry Hogg, Shaun Hogg, clinical care assistant Bryan Hesp, paramedic Ewa Kochanowska and call handler Jake Howe.

When Harry Hogg’s dad Shaun fell down the stairs and knocked himself unconscious, he tried to call 999 but he couldn’t unlock his dad’s phone.

With both a dad and a grandad who work for the ambulance service, Harry knew something about what to do in an emergency. He was the only other person in the house at the time and knew his dad needed help.

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) call handler Jake Howe took the call and rang Harry directly to help assess his dad’s condition whilst an ambulance was arranged.

Jake said: “Harry told me his dad Shaun was unconscious and he wasn’t sure if he was breathing. He was an incredible help and did everything I asked to help me find out what was going on.

“It’s been really good to be able to recognise Harry’s actions because I can imagine how scary that might have been for him but he did his family proud.”

The ambulance crew that attended to Shaun was clinical care assistant Bryan Hesp and paramedic Ewa Kochanowska.

Ewa explained, “We got the call through to respond to a patient that was unconscious and not breathing and that a six year old boy was attempting CPR, which was really alarming. During the journey, we were informed about who the patient was. Your heart just sinks when you think it might be someone you know.

“When we arrived, Shaun was on the floor on his back in a lot of pain and very confused. We treated him on scene and then transported him to hospital.

“I think it's very important to teach children about CPR and when to call 999 in an emergency. Every child should be educated about how to save someone's life, especially when sometimes a child might be the only other people in the house.”

Shaun himself is a dispatch supervisor in the emergency operations centre at NEAS and his dad, Harry’s grandad, has worked as an advanced technician for 20 years.

Shaun’s role is to support a team of people who help to determine what type of ambulance response is needed for each medical emergency received by the 999 service. Whilst patients are being assessed by health advisors, dispatch officers will identify and assign the nearest emergency support to the patient.

Shaun never imagined his team would one day be dispatching an ambulance to him.

Recalling that day, Shaun said, “I caught my foot on something at the top of the stairs and slipped down them. My head went through the ottoman at the bottom of the stairs, which knocked me unconscious. I also broke my shoulder in the process and had a sore neck.

“After the accident I heard all about what Harry had done to help me. I was unconscious for about half an hour and Harry thought I wasn't breathing. He even managed to move my unconscious body onto my side so that I wouldn't choke. Once I regained consciousness, I was very confused and panicked as I didn't know what was going on.

“Harry was so brave and he was so calm about the whole ordeal. One of the crew members took him outside to play football to occupy him which helped to diffuse the situation.

“He peered round the door when he saw me awake to ask if I was going to be alright and how long would I be - we were meant to be going to the cinema that night to see the new Toy Story film and he was still excited to go!

“I've listened to the call Harry made and the call handler was great with Harry. It’s so important to teach children about when to call 999. I think all parents should have this conversation with their child. Thankfully Harry was at home with me that day, he got me the emergency help I needed in my time of need and I am so proud to call him my son.”