'Superhero' paramedics meet 14-year-old boy whose life they saved

A 14-year-old has been reunited with the two paramedics who saved his life.

Billy Smith, from Milnthorpe, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after contracting sepsis and pneumonia.

His story is now being used in a campaign to highlight the real reasons why people should dial 999.


NWAS call-outs in 2019


call-outs are for life threatening situations


could have been treated by a GP

The North West Ambulance Service received more than a million calls in 2019.

Just over half were emergencies, and of those one in ten were life-threatening.

Almost half could have been treated by a GP.

The service launched a campaign in late 2019 asking people to call NHS 111 or go to GPs and walk in centres when the problem isn't life-threatening or an emergency.

As we head into January and February and the temperature plummets, we are expecting the high demand to continue and ask for the public to continue to help us by only calling 999 in life-threatening emergencies.

Ged Blezard, NWAS

Non-emergency call-outs take resources away from the serious cases where they're needed most.

ITV Border went to meet the two "superhero" paramedics Mark Wiley and Hayley Duxbury who came to the rescue when Billy Smith almost died from sepsis and pneumonia.

Credit: ITV Border

Speaking about the night he became ill, Billy's mum Sheila Smith said: "He vomited all night and his legs buckled and he looked up at me and he was blank so I got him back into bed and by this time he couldn't seem to speak to me and his breathing wasn't good. He was just kind of deteriorating in front of us.

"And they were actually in the room when we were told Billy might not make it and there was I call it a little window opened and I thought we were going to be organising a funeral and that was really scary but luckily that window shut and we didn't, we're very, very lucky but it's through Mark and Hayley's response, they saved his life."

I've never ever been so frightened. When you think you're going to lose anybody but especially a child.

Paramedic Mark Wiley

These paramedics saved Billy's life, but ambulance crews aren't always free when emergency calls like this come through.

Credit: ITV Border

Ged Blezard, Director of Operations at the North West Ambulance Service said: "People can take advice from a pharmacist for common health niggles, book an appointment with their GP for health issues which will not go away, visit an urgent treatment centre for minor illnesses and injuries or use NHS 111 online for health advice. In emergencies, if it is safe to get to an emergency department (A&E) without an ambulance then people should do that as arriving at hospital by ambulance won’t mean you’re seen any quicker."

Credit: ITV Border

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