A student who arrived late at school had a good excuse — he had been helping to save the life of a pensioner who had collapsed in the street.
Tejinder Purewal, 16, gave CPR chest compressions to 72-year-old Antonio Fernandes as he lay in Bath Road, Hounslow, after being alerted by the screams of a passer-by.
Tejinder, pictured, had received basic life-saving training from St John Ambulance as part of his activities as a school army cadet. Tonight he will be honoured at the charity’s Everyday Hero awards in Southwark, after being highly commended in the Guy Evans young hero category.
When Tejinder arrived at Mr Fernandes’s side on March 29 last year, the pensioner was lying motionless and in apparent cardiac arrest.
Tejinder told the woman who had alerted him to call 999 as he checked for breathing. When none could be detected, he began CPR and asked a fellow student to support Mr Fernandes’s head.
A foam-like substance was coming out of Mr Fernandes’s mouth so Tejinder rolled him on to his side to drain the fluid before continuing chest compressions.
A London Ambulance crew arrived after about 20 minutes and, following a briefing from Tejinder, they revived Mr Fernandes and took him to hospital.
The Year 10 student at Cranford Community College in Hounslow, said: “It’s really amazing to be recognised for this. I really didn’t expect it. I’m just pleased I was able to help that day.
“I think more young people should be taught first aid. We hear a lot about youth knife crime and most people wouldn’t know what to do in that situation. We should all learn first aid, so we can take action.”
Since the incident, Mr Fernandes and his family have been reunited with Tejinder, and made a donation to his school to express their thanks.
Tonight’s event is St John Ambulance’s seventh annual awards to recognise the bravery and skills of good samaritans. The charity trains 500,000 people every year in first aid and life-saving techniques.