Darlington boy, 6, saved dad's life after he suffered cardiac arrest at home

Proud six-year-old William has been commended by NEAS for his life-saving quick actions when his dad suffered a cardiac arrest. Credit: NEAS

The quick-thinking actions of William McKeever saved the life of his dad while his mum was working away.

The six-year-old realised his dad was unwell when they were home alone so swiftly alerted nearby neighbours of the emergency.

Glyn Byard, 60, fell ill at their Darlington home on 18 November 2022 and went into cardiac arrest.

Now, the North East Ambulance Service ( NEAS ) have praised William's life-saving actions and recognised the young boy's bravery with a special certificate.

L-R: Philippa McKeever, Glyn Byard, William McKeever, Sally Scott, Chris Gray, Charlotte Cooper. Credit: NEAS

Paramedic Charlotte Cooper said: "I hope William will feel proud as if he hadn’t got help when he did, his dad would not be with us today."

Clinical care assistant Sally Scott added: "His actions without doubt helped save his dad’s life.”

William's mum Philippa McKeever said she got a phone call from her husband telling her he was unwell before the phone line went dead.

In spite of the life-threatening crisis, William remained calm and collected as he ran to alert next-door neighbours that help was needed.

Clinical care assistant Sally Scott (back) and paramedic Charlotte Cooper (front) commend William for bravery after saving his dad's life. Credit: NEAS

Neighbour Chris Gray said: “I was working from home when William knocked on the door saying his dad wanted me.

"When I got into the house it quickly became apparent that Glyn needed urgent medical help. I rang for an ambulance and asked William to wait in another room.”

After phoning 999, Mr Gray managed to keep William's dad alive by the call operative talking him through how to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived.

Mr Gray said: “I’ve had first aid training previously but nothing prepares you for having to perform CPR on another person.

“Whilst it was very traumatic, I take pride in knowing that I helped save another life and the experience will stay with me forever.”

Mr Byard said: “I’m so lucky William and Chris were there and acted with such courage."

Clinical care assistant Sally Scott and paramedic James Devine were first on the scene followed by fellow paramedic Charlotte Cooper.

Ms Scott said: “William showed great bravery seeking help when his dad became poorly.

"He acted in a manner well beyond his age."

The crew treated Mr Byard and shocked him six times to bring him back to life.

Ms Cooper said: “Glyn was at a very high risk of going into cardiac arrest again.

“Early help and early CPR are what helped him that day.

“I still look back at the job and remember how amazed I was he was able to recognise his dad needed help at such a young age.”  

NEAS clinical care assistant Sally Scott said: "William's actions without doubt helped save his dad’s life.” Credit: NEAS

Ms McKeever, said: “When I got home William reassured me. He said: 'It’s alright Mummy, Daddy is breathing on his own. Can I still go to the school disco?'

"He was totally unphased. I owe so much to Chris and William. Without their bravery, Glyn wouldn’t be here.”

Ms McKeever said she will be eternally grateful to the ambulance crew, 999 call handlers, doctors and nurses who saved her partner.

Mr Byard spent seven days in hospital before returning home and is recovering well.

William's mum added: “It’s meant the world for us to meet these life-saving heroes. William is very proud, and we are of him, to receive this award.”

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