30/03/06 Paperboy leapt into action


Paperboy Josh Hall delivers his copies of the Echo at the same time every day. 
And on Friday, May 12, his punctuality saved Carron Johnson’s life.

While her seven-year-old daughter Sinead was playing at a friend’s house, Mrs Johnson was alone.

Earlier that day she had taken her medication as usual but had run out of painkillers.

Mrs Johnson, who suffers from MS and osteoporosis, collapsed in a chair in extreme pain caused by her crumbling spine.

A short while later Josh, who does gardening for Mrs Johnson, delivered the Echo to a neighbour and looked through the window of Mrs Johnson’s house to say hello.

“I could see she was slumped in a chair so I went in to see if she was okay,” he said.

“I managed to bring her around and asked her what was wrong.

“She mumbled it was her back and said she needed an ambulance.”

Mrs Johnson had passed out because of the pain in her spine.

Josh also phoned Mrs Johnson’s babysitter Lucy Hayes (17) and friends Danielle Mason (14) and Matt Coupland (16).

They all stayed with Mrs Johnson until paramedics arrived and looked after her seven-year-old daughter Sinead.

Mrs Johnson stayed in hospital for eight days and was put on an intravenous morphine drip and a constant oxygen supply.

Josh, a Year 10 pupil at De Aston School, in Market Rasen, has been an Echo paperboy for two and a half years and delivers more than 6,000 copies a year in Fiskerton.

“The adrenalin kicked in at first but I kept calm,” he said.

“I’ve helped an old lady who had fallen in the street before and my dad has epilepsy so I know what to do.”

Mrs Johnson has put Josh forward for the Echo’s Vodafone Lifesavers Awards.

Nominees can include people who work in the emergency services, as well as members of the public.

The Lincolnshire winner and the nominee will each receive a Vodafone 3G mobile phone.

The Lifesaver will go on to regional finals and be in with a chance of meeting Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mrs Johnson said: “Josh is a real hero. I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t found me.

“When you have a condition like this it’s really important to have people around who can look out for you. For a young man of his age to know what to do is amazing.

“I would love him to get the award and for his friends who helped us to be there too.”

Sinead has a rare condition which causes her to stop breathing potentially leading to a cardiac arrest.

“It can be triggered by stress so Sinead could have had a shock to the system which could have been very dangerous for her,” she said.

Sinead said: “Josh saved my mum’s life. I was scared but Josh helped me.”

Two years ago Mrs Johnson was first struck down with the debilitating bone disease and was paralysed for weeks.

The condition restricts her movement and she had to give up her job as a carer.

The condition of her spine is not likely to improve and she could one day be confined to a wheelchair .

“A year ago I had an operation which involved injecting steroids into my spine.

“But that’s now wearing off so I get these attacks of pain.

“I could be paralysed again but I don’t let anything get me down.”

Phil Bean (46) is the Echo Direct delivery agent for the north of Lincoln.

“What Josh has done is excellent,” he said.

“Paperboys and girls are part of the community. If you are elderly or have a medical condition the paperboy or girl may be the only person you see in the day.”

Dealing with a casualty until help arrives

Basic first aid is easy to master and can help save a life – as young Josh proved.

Following a few simple steps will help to keep the person safe until medical professionals arrive.

An unconscious casualty who is breathing but has no other life-threatening conditions should be placed in the recovery position.

If you suspect spinal injury, use the jaw thrust technique. Place your hands on either side of their face. With your fingertips gently lift jaw to open the airway. Take care not to tilt casualty’s neck.