National first-aid award for Colne boy (15) who saved his mum’s life

Thomas Garnett (15) with his St John Ambulance Life Saver award for rescuing his mum when she fell down the stairs. A250511/2
Thomas Garnett (15) with his St John Ambulance Life Saver award for rescuing his mum when she fell down the stairs. A250511/2

A QUICK-THINKING schoolboy who saved his mum’s life has earned himself a prestigious national award from St John Ambulance.

Former Nelson Air Cadet Thomas Garnett (15) of Higgin Street, Colne, has been honoured for his actions after coming to his mum’s rescue when she tripped and fell down 14 steep stairs at the family home.

At a ceremony in London, Tom was presented with one of 20 “St John First Aider of the Year” awards highlighting the achievements of young people whose vital first aid has helped save a life or help an injured person.

In March last year, Tom’s mum Yvonne (43) had been rushing to get to work when she tripped on the landing and as she reached for the handrail fell head first down the stairs. On hearing the commotion Tom, who was 14 at the time, rushed to the scene, and recalled the first aid training he had received from St John Ambulance while in Nelson Air Cadets.

The Year 10 Primet High School pupil said: “I wouldn’t have known what to do without the St John Ambulance training.”

Yvonne had fallen in an awkward position and although conscious, was “wedged” between the wall and stairs.

Tom realised there was a danger of paralysis if he moved her and took the matter into his own hands.

He told his dad to ring the ambulance service and got pillows and blankets to make his mum comfortable. From his training, he re-assured Yvonne and treated his dad for shock while they awaited paramedics.

And on their arrival, the medics praised Tom for his first aid and told him he had done everything right before taking Mrs Garnett to Blackburn Royal Hospital where she was treated for several breaks and fractures.

His dad Ian said: “He was so calm and collected. He assessed her and just did everything right. We are so proud of him.”

More than a year on, Yvonne still has to endure painful physiotherapy, but she can’t thank Tom enough for what he did.

Tom, who volunteers in Colne’s Age UK, said: “It is one of those skills I think as many people as possible should know as it could be the difference between life and death.”

Adjutant Allan Walker of Pendle Squadron ATC also praised Tom. “We would like to congratulate him on his award and are proud the training we gave him stood him in good stead,” he said.