Quick-thinking pupil rescues choking boy

PUBLISHED: 15:57 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 07:14 30 May 2010

School boy saves friend from choking.

School boy saves friend from choking.

A TEN-YEAR-OLD boy from Great Dunmow has been branded a hero after saving the life of a school friend who was choking on a cup-cake. Stephen Marshall, a pupil at Ford End Primary, was in the dinner hall during his lunch hour when across the room Harry Rob

A TEN-YEAR-OLD boy from Great Dunmow has been branded a hero after saving the life of a school friend who was choking on a cup-cake.

Stephen Marshall, a pupil at Ford End Primary, was in the dinner hall during his lunch hour when across the room Harry Roberts, aged six, began to cough and splutter with food lodged in his windpipe.

Without hesitation the youngster dashed over to his friend and performed a life-saving technique that had been taught during school first aid classes.

"Harry was red in the face and his lips were blue so I could tell he was choking," said Stephen. "I hit him on the back five times really hard in the way I had been shown and the food went down his throat. The whole hall had gone silent and everyone was asking us if he was ok."

Stephen's mother, Gaynor Marshall, a nurse at Broomfield Hospital, spoke of the pride at what her son had done. "It was a very serious incident but he remained calm," she said. "The whole family is very proud of him.

"I work in the recovery department of the hospital and if something goes wrong we have other professionals around to help out. Stephen had none of that. What he did was really amazing. Not many adults would have been able to help, let alone a ten-year-old."

As well as his school lessons, the youngster had also been learning first aid some recent refresher courses at Dunmow cub scouts group.

He grew up knowing about similar medical treatments because when he was born his lungs collapsed resulting in two years of treatment at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and the Great Ormond Street children's hospital in London.

Mrs Marshall said: "He still has minor treatments for breathing difficulties but it does not stop him from doing anything. He plays lots of sports including hockey for Dunmow."

She added: "When he was born he only had a 50 per cent chance of survival. We are delighted he is still around and we expect little Harry is to."

The boys knew each other before the incident and have become great friends since. Harry said he is very thankful that Stephen was around that day and he would never try and eat a whole cupcake again.

Stephen explained that every person should learn the same techniques. "If I had of not helped Harry then what would have happened? He could have been dead," he said. "I would have done the same for anyone else.

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