'We need more like him' - community's praise for Sunderland security guard who won national award after saving choking toddler
A security guard has been hailed by Sunderland shoppers as a hero after he was awarded for saving the life of a toddler who was choking.
Carl Simpson sprang into action and came to the aid of three-year-old Jayden Percy, who was choking on a piece of food.
He used his first aid training to administer the Heimlich Manoeuvre, managing to remove the blockage and help Jayden breathe before the paramedics arrived to take the youngster to hospital.
Carl, who has worked at the Bridges for more than half a decade, won the Star of the Year prize at the OCS Awards.
After receiving the award at a ceremony in London, the guard said he was “delighted” to be nominated and couldn’t believe he won.
He added: “It was reward enough for me that this incident had a happy ending, but I’m very honoured to have been given it.”
As news of Carl’s well-deserved award broke, members of the Sunderland community called him a “guardian angel” to the little boy and his family.
Here are some of your messages for Carl from the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:
Helen Lowden: “Amazing! So glad the little boy is okay, well done to the quick response from the security guard.”
Bell Duke: “Well done Carl being able to save the little boy.”
Marian Leonard: “Was his guardian angel.”
Janice Long: “Well done and the award, well deserved.”
Kathy Haq: “Well done Carl. More people should do first aid courses as we never know when they'll come in handy.”
Lauren Greenwell: “How amazing and so glad he was there and acted fast. It's scary to think how easy it is for a toddler or for anyone to choke.”
Davey Woodhouse: “Lovely lad, chuffed for you Carl well done mate top lad inside and out.”
David Hughes: “An asset to the Bridges and the city centre, we need more like him!”
Sarah Jane: “You'll forever be that little boy’s hero. Congratulations.”
Kimberley Morrison: “Wow congratulations Carl you so deserve the award.”
Balbir Johal: “Fantastic man, you are a true hero, respect to you.”