Father and son honoured for saving Olympic boxer’s life on golf course

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire October 1, 2018 10:39

A father and son who successfully saved the life of a former Olympic boxer during a round of golf have won a St John Ambulance’s Everyday Heroes award.

As Garry Kerr and his seven-year-old son Ellis played their round at Haverhill Golf Club last year, they heard shouting and ran over to find a man they had been speaking to minutes earlier, collapsed on the ground.

On realising he was not breathing, Garry instantly began to give lifesaving chest compressions while telling Ellis to wait where he was so he didn’t see what was happening.

(L-R) Dr Ellie Cannon, Ellis Kerr, Garry Kerr and Mick Carter attend the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards, supported by Laerdal Medical, which celebrate those that save lives and champion first aid in communities, at Hilton Bankside on September 24, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images for St John Ambulance)

Ellis decided to ignore his dad and run to another tee where people were, to get help. After around 20 minutes of ongoing CPR a paramedic arrived and used a defibrillator to restart the man’s heart. Thanks to Garry’s intervention to keep oxygen flowing to the man’s brain, he made a full recovery.

It turned out the man was Mick Carter, now 69, who represented Great Britain as a bantamweight in the 1968 Mexico Summer Olympics.

Garry was so affected by the incident that he persuaded the packaging company he works for to buy a defibrillator from St John Ambulance and he took a course with the charity in how to use it. The company also decided to make it a public access defibrillator and register it on the NHS database of defibrillators.

The charity’s annual event recognises the outstanding bravery and first aid skills of individuals and teams of people who stepped forward when it mattered most to help people, support communities, and have a positive impact on health.

“It’s unbelievable and I never expected this – just being here is gratitude enough”, said Garry, who received his ‘Community Award’ from GP, author and media columnist Dr Ellie Cannon.

“I gave the CPR and it went on for 20 minutes. I can remember looking down at Mick and thinking ‘this is not going to end how I want it to end’. I remember saying to him under my breath ‘come on, I’m not giving up’.”

Ellis Kerr (front) and Garry Kerr attend the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards, supported by Laerdal Medical, which celebrate those that save lives and champion first aid in communities, at Hilton Bankside on September 24, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images for St John Ambulance)

Mick, whose life was saved by Garry and Ellis, said: “I remember reaching out for the branch of a tree because I knew I was going over, and I never made it to the branch. That was it – I was dead before I hit the floor. It if hadn’t been for Garry and his St John Ambulance training, I would definitely not be here today. I know that he spent a long time fighting for my life.”

The ceremony, at Hilton London Bankside, was hosted by celebrity vicar and one half of 1980s pop band The Communards, Reverend Richard Coles.

St John Ambulance’s chief executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, congratulated the duo.

“The achievements of our award nominees and winners like Garry and Ellis are extraordinary and I have been overwhelmed by the stories of their everyday heroism in protecting life and health.”

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire October 1, 2018 10:39
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