Hero teenager saves dad's life in Doncaster first aid drama

Teenager Ricky-John Lawson was just taking a break from his computer game to get a drink

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 7:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 7:03 pm

He walked into the lounge, where his mum and dad had sat down to watch Masterchef while they tucked into their tea, steak and chips, which his dad had just cooked at the family home at Dunscroft, Doncaster.

Then it happened. Dad Ricky, aged 36, initially seemed to be pulling faces. Ricky-John and mum Geri thought he was having a joke.

But soon it became clear this was no joke – Ricky was choking and could not breath.

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Ricky-John Lawson and dad, Ricky Lawson, whose life he saved

Mum-of-six Geri, aged 38, feared for his life. She tried to help, but she was starting to panic.

But then her 15-year-old autistic son calmly stepped in to perform the heimlich manoeuvre – a lifesaving technique he had learned just a couple of months earlier at the special school he attends, Pennine View at Conisbrough, a procedure to clear block airways by thrusting into the diaphram below the lungs..

Two chips that had been blocking his airways then shot out of his mouth – saving his life and leaving him able to breath again.

Geri said: “I had tried to get my arms around him to stop him chocking. But Ricky-John told me ‘out of the way’ and performed the heimlich manoeuvre.

Abigail Cook and Ricky-John Lawson, after Ricky John saved up his pocked money to donate to an appeal in 2015

“The next thing I new, two chips had come out of his mouth that had been choking him. Ricky-John was really calm – I was in tears and panicking. He just went ahead and did what he had to do.

“I’m so proud of him – he has saved his dad’s life, by remembering and using the first aid he was taught at school just before Christmas last year.”

It is not the first time Ricky-John has appeared in the Free Press. He made the headlines in 2005 when he raised money to help a poorly fellow pupil at Pennine View, Abigail Cook, who was seeking treatment for a rare illness.

Before lockdown, he was also known locally for performing errands for neighbours.

When he leaves school he wants to get a job in catering or engineering, but says he will keep up with his first aid.

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