Sunderland schoolboys rewarded for their lifesaving heroics

Sophie Raworth, James Mavin, HRH The Countess of Wessex, Michael Purvis, Beth Chesney-Evans
Sophie Raworth, James Mavin, HRH The Countess of Wessex, Michael Purvis, Beth Chesney-Evans
Have your say

TWO schoolboys have been hailed as national heroes for their life-saving actions.

Sunderland 15-year-olds Michael Purvis and James Mavin performed emergency resuscitation on a man who collapsed in the street and was struggling to breathe.

At a glittering ceremony in London last night, the boys were named as winners of the prestigious Guy Evans Award in the St John Ambulance First Aid Awards.

The top twosome were presented with their trophy by The Countess of Wessex.

Earlier this year, Michael and James were on the bus heading home from school when they spotted the man lying in the street.

The Castle View Enterprise Academy pupils asked the driver to stop, before leaping off and helping the man.

As shocked passers-by watched on, the boys quickly established the man was not breathing and had no heartbeat.

The St John Ambulance cadets then carried out life-saving CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) continuing to help the victim until paramedics arrived.

Now the lads’ bravery has seen them scoop the Guy Evans Award, a national St John honour for someone who saves a person’s life.

It was set up in memory of Oxfordshire teenager Guy, who died aged 17 after a moped crash, which he may have survived with the help of basic first aid.

His mum, Beth Chesney-Evans, helped present James and Michael with the prize at the awards evening, which was hosted by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth.

Sue Killen, chief executive of St John Ambulance, said: “We were extremely proud to be able to recognise so many outstanding individuals with the St John Ambulance First Aid Awards.

“James and Michael’s actions on that day were inspiring and should encourage everybody to learn basic first aid skills and be the difference.

“I hope these two brave young men enjoyed the evening and continue their commitment to being the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”

Michael, of Downhill, and James, of Town End Farm, joined St John Ambulance’s Sunderland Cadet Unit at the age of 10 and have been first aid volunteers at every Sunderland Airshow since 2007.

Janet Bridges, headteacher at Castle View Enterprise Academy, said: “The boys really are fantastic within the school and wider community as well as being great advocates for St John Ambulance.

“We’re extremely proud of them, because if it hadn’t have been for their actions the man would have died.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho