Tom Leeming helped save his father Nick's life after he collapsed with a heart attack
Landscape architect Nick Leeming had been out running but was just yards from his home when he suddenly collapsed.
The 51-year-old’s wife Jenny, and 16-year-old son, Tom, were alerted by neighbours and rushed outside to discover the emergency on their Darlington doorstep.
The teenager, who was trained in life-saving CPR skills at Barnard Castle School, took charge and administered CPR while emergency services were on the way.
Tom, who is a lance corporal in his school’s cadet force, said it was a shock to see his father collapsed on the floor, but revealed his training instantly kicked in.
His heroic actions have now been rewarded by the Royal Humane Society.
Tom said: “I wasn’t expecting to see dad like that, but I took over doing the CPR from the jogger and thankfully managed to keep it going until the fire brigade arrived to take over and used the defibrillator on dad.”
Nick was out running and was just yards from his home when he suddenly collapsed
Within four minutes County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service arrived on the scene and were able to use a defibrillator to shock Mr Leeming’s heart and get it started again.
I just woke up in hospital after ten days to learn that Tom had helped to save my life
An ambulance crew arrived shortly afterwards to care for and take the patient to hospital.
Mr Leeming said the heart attack was completely unexpected as he had not been feeling unwell and had suffered none of the usual warning signs.
His 16-year-old son took charge and administered CPR while emergency services were on the way
He said: “I can’t remember a thing about what happened, I just woke up in hospital after ten days to learn that Tom had helped to save my life – to say I’m proud is an understatement."
After spending several days in an induced coma, Mr Leeming was brought round by medics and has now returned to full fitness after having a stent inserted into his heart.
Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, praised the teenager’s initiative following his father’s collapse last July.
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The fire brigade arrived and used a defibrillator to get Mr Leeming's heart started again
He said: “Thankfully, Tom was the right person in the right place at the right time. Time is of the essence in situations like this and the longer the delay in administering CPR the less likely the victim has of survival.
“Although very young, Tom had thankfully been trained in CPR techniques by the cadet force. But when he learned them he could never have foreseen that they would be used to save his father’s life.”