Sam Seaborn, Rhodri Whittaker and Ben Stevens praised after saving the life of Joel Massey in Much Marcle

(l-r) Sam Seaborn, Ben Stevens and Rhodri Whittaker (pictured with their life-saving certificates) visited Joel Massey at Birmingham Children's Hospital. Picture by SWNS.

Joel Massey, pictured recovering at Birmingham Children's Hospital. Picture by SWNS.

Joel Massey pictured with (l-r) his father James, twin sister Imogen and mother Andrea. Picture by SWNS.

First published in News
Last updated
Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THREE brave teenagers saved the life of their friend after remembering a biology lesson they had at school.

Joel Massey was playing football with Sam Seaborn, Rhodri Whittaker and Ben Stevens near his home in Much Marcle when he suddenly collapsed. The 14-year-old keen mountain biker suffers from Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome - a condition that causes the heart to beat abnormally fast.

Joel, who enjoyed a bike ride with his friends moments earlier, suffered a cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating for more then 10 minutes.

However, his life was saved by the quick-thinking actions of Sam, Rhodri and Ben - who are all 16.

Sam ran for help, Rhodri dialled 999 and Ben started performing CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Paramedics used a defibrillator to restart Joel's heart and he was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Joel is expected to make a full recovery following the scare that happened at the at the start of the Easter holidays.

Sam, Rhodri and Ben have since all received certificates for their bravery and have visited Joel in hospital.

"I really can't remember any of it," said Joel.

"I remember earlier that day, but all I know from what happened is what I have been told.

"It has been frustrating being stuck in hospital now because I feel fine.

"I can't believe what the boys did - I am indebted to them really.

"They saved my life.

"I think it has brought us all a lot closer."

Joel was diagnosed with WPW when he was 13 which means that he occasionally suffers from heart palpitations.

In very rare cases, sufferers can be at risk of cardiac arrest, but it usually affects people much older than Joel.

Ben carried out CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation after remembering a lesson he had at John Masefield High School.

"We had a bike ride and stopped to play a game of football when Joel suddenly collapsed," said Ben.

"We thought he was mucking about at first, so kicked the ball at him, but he didn't react.

"We knew then that something was seriously wrong.

"I think we just did what we did automatically, I don't think it really sunk in until Joel had been put in the ambulance.

"I had done some CPR as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and we had a lesson about the heart in biology last year, so I just did what I could.

"Joel was sick as well, so I knew we had to clear his airways and I did mouth to mouth."

Joel's mum Andrea, who is a nurse, said that he is very lucky to have such good friends.

"They saved his life, I hate to think what would have happened if he was on his own," she said.

"Everyone should learn how to do CPR because you never know when you'll need to use it."

Joel was due to have a cardiac ablation to repair his irregular heart beat before being allowed to go home.

Comments (4)

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6:14pm Fri 25 Apr 14

littlewhitebull says...

A truly amazing story. Joel is so lucky to have three such marvellous friends. Sam, Ben and Rhodri are a shining example to all young people. Well done lads. Very best wishes to Joel for a very speedy recovery.
A truly amazing story. Joel is so lucky to have three such marvellous friends. Sam, Ben and Rhodri are a shining example to all young people. Well done lads. Very best wishes to Joel for a very speedy recovery. littlewhitebull
  • Score: 15

10:30pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Gillian1961 says...

You have picked some really good friends there teenagers get bad press most of the time but you three have proved the critics wrong best wishes to Joel and hope you are home soon
You have picked some really good friends there teenagers get bad press most of the time but you three have proved the critics wrong best wishes to Joel and hope you are home soon Gillian1961
  • Score: 13

10:24am Sat 26 Apr 14

monty2008 says...

Well done boys,friends for ever i am sure after going through that experience,best wishes Joel.
Well done boys,friends for ever i am sure after going through that experience,best wishes Joel. monty2008
  • Score: 9

1:28pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Aquarius says...

Absolutely - well done to these three boys, who probably made all the difference.

And let's not forget the paramedics as well. First class job all round.
Absolutely - well done to these three boys, who probably made all the difference. And let's not forget the paramedics as well. First class job all round. Aquarius
  • Score: 5

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