SCHOOLBOY ASSAULT: Life-saving staff hailed as heroes

LIFESAVERS -- victim Callum Massey (centre) with the caretaker, Eddie Heath (left), and teaching assistant, Paul Mullins, who saved his life -- DISPIC NHUD12-0027-4.
LIFESAVERS -- victim Callum Massey (centre) with the caretaker, Eddie Heath (left), and teaching assistant, Paul Mullins, who saved his life -- DISPIC NHUD12-0027-4.

THE HEROIC actions of staff who saved the life of a dying teenager after an assault at a Hucknall school can at last be revealed by the Dispatch.

High drama enveloped the National Church Of England Academy on Annesley Road last September when 13-year-old Callum Massey was punched by another 13-year-old boy.

Police swarmed the site as the unprovoked assault set off a chain of events that left Callum unconscious, not breathing and prone on the floor.

He needed immediate medical treatment or he would have died. It later transpired that he collapsed because of an undiagnosed heart condition.

Thankfully, school staff — led by quick-thinking caretaker Eddie Heath — stepped in and put their crucial first-aid training into practice.

Ex-National pupil Eddie (34), of Trent Drive, gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and heart massage as paramedics raced to the scene.

He was supported by teaching assistant Paul Mullins (28), who also liaised with the emergency services.

Both men have now been honoured with lifesaving ‘Good Samaritan Awards’ presented by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

“I had to do something,” said Eddie, who has been the school caretaker for ten years. “Callum had gone purple. We became his heart and his breathing.

“Let me make it clear, I never wanted to have to do something like this.

“You hope Superman will fly through the door and you haven’t got to do it. You do no want to take that responsibility. But you have to.

“I want to make it clear that it wasn’t just about me or Paul. It was a massive team effort, and everyone pulled together brilliantly. There were so many people who did so many things.”

Paul, of Mapperley, who has been at the school four years, said: “It is just one of those things you hope anyone else would have done.

“We have been so lucky. Callum is still here and that’s the important thing.”

Other staff members singled out for praise include Sue McNish, who initially put Callum in the recovery position, Cathy Brown, Stuart Flint and Daniel James.

Other pupils have also been praised for their calm reaction to such a stressful Thursday morning. The parents of Callum, Lynne and Andrew Massey, say they can’t thank Eddie, Paul and everyone else involved enough for saving their son’s life.

A crucial role was also played by EMAS community paramedic Tony Goodman, who was at the school within seven minutes and took over from Eddie and Paul to fully resuscitate Callum before transferring him to hospital.

During the presentation of the lifesaving awards by Phil Morris, of EMAS, he said: “Had it not been for these two people (Eddie and Paul), Callum would not be sat here today. Unfortunately we cannot give out medals.”

Eddie was taught his ultimately life-saving skills as part of an enhanced programme of first aid installed by the school.

Head teacher Dr Jon Edwards said: “When I spoke to Eddie afterwards, he said it was all just in a day’s work. But it wasn’t really. We are very proud and we are pleased to at last recognise him, Paul and everyone else.”

Eddie says that “National blue runs through his veins”. He is married to Claire and has a daughter, Amy (four), and son, Joshua (ten).

Eddie’s father, Pete Heath, was caretaker at the school for 19 years before his son took over.

Well-known Pete and his wife, Nelda, added: “We are so proud of him. He deserves all the recognition he gets for helping to save this boy‘s life.”