Medics save boy, 10, after playground heart attack

10-year-old Koby Hodder, who suffered a heart attack at Bentley High Street Primary School in March.
10-year-old Koby Hodder, who suffered a heart attack at Bentley High Street Primary School in March.
  • Koby Hodder, aged 10, suffered a heart attack while he was at school
  • Paramedics gave him two shocks with a defibrillator and took him to hospital His mum, Joanne Hodder, has thanked them for their life-saving treatment

A relieved mum has thanked paramedics who gave her 10-year-old son life-saving treatment after he suffered a heart attack.

Koby Hodder, a pupil at Bentley High Street Primary School, collapsed in the playground. Paramedics Lee Murphy, Martin Parkinson and Emergency Care Assistant Freddie Stevens, from Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, gave Koby two shocks with a defibrillator.

He was then taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary and later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Mum Joanne Hodder said: “I cannot thank each and every person who played a part in saving Koby’s life and helped with his recovery enough. Teachers, paramedics, hospital staff and Embrace Children’s Transport Service have all been amazing.

“As a parent it is your worst nightmare to receive a phone call like I did from school when you sent your healthy 10-year-old child to school that morning.”

Koby has made a full recovery and returned to school earlier this month following the incident on March 2.

Joanne said: “He’s had a fantastic recovery which is all down to the fast response from the school staff and the paramedics. He’s doing better than we could have ever imagined after having two cardiac arrests, one of which was at school.”

The primary school had a defibrillator installed and was due to have familiarisation training on CPR and use of the defibrillator the same week Koby collapsed.

Since then, Lee and Freddie have also returned to the school to talk to staff.

Representatives from the charity Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome UK have given the training.

Deputy headteacher Rebecca Austwick said: “Everyone involved in saving Koby deserves great praise, including the staff involved in the initial first aid care at school.

“Recognising a child is not breathing and responding requires great strength and we now have so much more respect for the work of all paramedics who deal with this on a daily basis. They do an incredible job.

“Thankfully all staff were trained at school and could administer CPR effectively. I am so proud of all the staff for their quick response.

“The support from the ambulance service was incredible and continued after the incident with daily contact from Lee.

“I strongly urge all schools to ensure that all staff are trained in first aid, not just key members of staff.”

Koby and his family will be invited to meet the ambulance staff later this year, who will be presented with a Locality Director Commendation for their life-saving actions.

Jackie Cole, Locality Director for South Yorkshire at the ambulance service, said: “Having easy access to a defibrillator means that immediate life-saving care can be provided in an emergency situation in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.

“The speedy response of the staff at Bentley High Street Primary School played a vital role in Koby’s survival before the arrival of our staff.

“Using a defibrillator, which delivers a controlled electric shock to stop the heart so that it can naturally return to a normal rhythm, is very straightforward and can be carried out by anyone as the machine itself talks the user through what to do step-by-step.

“These pieces of kit really do have the potential to help save more lives.”