15 February 2016: 15 year old Army Cadet saves a runner in Cardiac Arrest

Connah Holden Lifesaver Army Cadet

A 15 year old teenager, Connah Holden, of Darwen saved the life of a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest by performing life-saving CPR on him on Saturday.

The man was one of 300 runners and walkers taking part in the annual ‘Anglezarke Amble’, organised by the West Lancashire Long Distance Walkers and is understood to have been running along the course when he went into cardiac arrest. The route includes peaks such as Winter Hill and Rivington Pike.

Connah, 15, was driving through South Turton village, near Bolton when they spotted a group of people standing around a collapsed man on the floor. Spotting that the man needed medical help, Connah leapt from his dad’s van and began performing CPR that he had learned as an Army Cadet on the unresponsive man.

He kept up the life-saving CPR even after adult members of the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, who were providing medical cover for the event, arrived after a few minutes. 

Connah’s CPR was so effective that it kept the runner alive until the advanced treatment from Paramedics of NW Ambulance Service managed to resuscitate him so he could be airlifted by Air Ambulance to Wythenshawe Hospital, where he is currently described as stable.

Connah said, “I saw a group and then I noticed someone on the floor. Somebody had started trying to do CPR but another woman was asking people to help, so I just took over.

“I didn’t think about it, I just did it. I was probably doing it for about 15 to 20 minutes and carried on when the ambulance got there and they were setting up the defibrillators.”

Rivington Pike

He added, “Everyone should learn how to do CPR if they can, as this shows that you never know when you might need to use it.

“They should teach it in schools because if I wasn’t in the Army cadets, I wouldn’t have known how to do it.”

The organiser of the Anglezarke Amble, Ian Wardle congratulated Connah and praised the emergency services, “I spoke to the runner last night and he said that all he can remember is feeling dizzy and the next thing he knew he was in a helicopter going to hospital.

“He didn’t have any chest pain and has been told it wasn’t a heart attack, but that his heart did stop and he needs to stay in hospital for further tests.

“The lad did a wonderful job. All his training kicked in and there’s no doubt about it that he saved the man’s life.

“The mountain rescue team are present for the event and were there within minutes and the paramedics and ambulance service got to him quickly. Everyone came together and did a great job.”

Connah’s dad, Tom said, “We knew that Connah had some basic first aid training but we didn’t know to what extent. He showed an immense amount of maturity and calmness under pressure.

“I along with other adults probably wouldn’t know what to do and would panic. He made us very proud.”

Cheryl Pickstock from NW Ambulance Service NHS Trust said, “On behalf of the Chain of Survival Team for North West Ambulance Service, we would like to congratulate Connah for his courage and instinct to stop and help this person.

"It is amazing to hear of a young person being able to use life-saving skills and this identifies the need for everyone, young or old, to learn this life-long skill.

"He is a fantastic inspiration to everyone, so well done Connah."