Boy of six suffered heart attack brought on by thunderstorm

Callum with his mother Jayne; his heart stopped beating for 33 minutes Photo: ITV Central

Playing football at home with his brother Curtis, you would never guess what Callum Bryan has been through in the last month.

The six-year-old from Great Barr had a heart attack whilst sitting in the back of his mother's car last month.

Doctors believe he may have cheated Sudden Death Syndrome brought on in the middle of a thunderstorm by a rush of adrenaline, Callum always had a fear of loud, sudden noises.

His heart stopped for thirty three minutes but his life was saved by his mother and sister who, with help from emergency staff on the phone, carried out CPR on the back seat until an ambulance arrived.

"Everything was going through my mind.

"What's wrong with him?

"Why wasn't he responding?

"I was calling his name, trying to shake him, to get a response and there was just nothing.

"I was just willing him to start breathing, willing him to wake up.

"They said from the time we dialled 999 to the time we arrived at the emergency department was only fifteen minutes but it felt like hours."

– Jayne Bryan - Mother

Callum was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital and his heart was restarted, but relief for his anxious family was fleeting: he was placed in a medically induced coma in an effort to control a soaring body temperature.

After twenty four hours he came round, only for doctors to decide he should be placed back in the coma.

It was another five days before he woke up.

Medical staff have compared his experience to that of Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed on the pitch during a game against Tottenham in March.

Sudden Death Syndrome is a general term for sudden cardiac arrest in young people.

It occurs when a sudden strain is placed on a heart with an undiagnosed abnormality.

In Callum's case it's almost certain that his fear of the thunderstorm was the trigger.

Jayne says her son is his old self but he gets out of breath more easily now and has to take a variety of medication.

Today they will return to hospital to discuss test results that may shed more light on the causes of his brush with death.

Callum's family have started a charity to raise money for children's cardiac services at Birmingham Children's hospital. For more information visit www.callumscardiacfund.com.