“He’s the hero I need the world to know about” - Meet 12-year-old Henry who saved his dad’s life using CPR

A 12-year-old boy from Hipperholme has been hailed as a hero after saving his dad’s life.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 4:12 pm
Henry Collett with dad Jools. Henry saved his life with CPR learnt at Hipperholme Grammar School

Henry Collett and his dad Jules were out running on March 8 when Jules collapsed due to a cardiac arrest, but quick-thinking Henry performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on his dad and called an ambulance.

“Henry and I normally go for a run three times a week in the evenings, from our house, up to the quarries at the back of the Old Brodleians, and then round the tracks at the Brods and down Kirk Lane,” said Jules, 56.

“We got the top of the hill round the back of the Brods, I turned to Henry and said ‘I don’t feel very well’ and at that point I just collapsed.

Henry Collett with dad Jools. Henry saved his life with CPR learnt at Hipperholme Grammar School

“I can’t even remember that.

“Henry then stepped in and checked my vitals, then administered CPR.

“I always have a phone in an arm pouch to listen to music as we go, so he took that out and flagged somebody down.”

Henry said: “He was unresponsive so I called an ambulance, told them where I was, and once I did that I started to do CPR for about 30 seconds to a minute.

“Then a jogger appeared who saw my dad and came over, and I then went to go and get a defibrillator.”

Henry plays rugby for Old Brods so he knew there was a defibrillator at the ground.

“When I came to the clubhouse I saw an ambulance on the dirt track, so I flagged them down, told them dad needed a defibrillator and then they took care of him and I rang my mum.”

Henry was taught CPR at Hipperholme Grammar School and by the Sea Cadets.

“I tried to keep a clear head by thinking ‘what I do now might save his life’,” Henry said.

“I pretty much know what to do, so I could do chest compressions.

“If I hadn’t done CPR when I did he might have had brain damage.”

”I wouldn’t have survived, put it that way, because my heart stopped,” said Jules.

“He’s had three lessons in CPR which has embedded it for him.”

Proud mum Jackie Collett said: “They put Jules into an induced coma, sent him for scans, and he was admitted to the intensive care unit, where he was in an induced coma for six or seven days.

“Waking him up was proving difficult and then finally, they managed to wake him on the Friday.

“Then he went into CCU (coronary care unit) on the Sunday evening and was home on the Friday night.
“The cardiac arrest Jules had, there is a less than 10 per cent chance of surviving, to get to hospital never mind anything else, and if it hadn’t been for Henry’s quick-thinking, calm actions, he wouldn’t be here.

“The fact he knew what to do and how to prioritise it, he’s just the hero I need the world to know about because he’s my son and without him, I wouldn’t have a husband.”

Jules said: “I think it shows the benefit of what is a very simple 20 minute lesson for kids about how to do it, and it saves lives.

“It’s not just a case of filling 20 minutes for the kids, it actually is a 20 minute lesson which reaps benefits for everybody.

“Also, what you can’t teach is the ability not to panic and to prioritise and organise, which is slightly different and I think that’s something Henry has himself.

“The more people who know how to do CPR and then have the confidence to do it, the better.”

Henry is planning to do a Duke of Edinburgh award in Year 9, which he starts in September, and for his community project, will be raising awareness of the benefits of CPR and teaching it in schools.

Henry and his dad are also planning to resume their evening runs together.

“We will carry on with that but Henry will be bringing his phone and we’ll have a team of about 130 medical people!,” said Jules.