A SCHOOL nurse has received a commendation after helping to save the life of a pupil who had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Youngster Thomas Estcourt, aged seven, fell ill as he arrived by taxi at Horton Lodge Special School near Rudyard in January.
School nurse Marcus Tunnicliffe- Grundy took immediate action and administered CPR to the pupil,who was in a critical condition.
Mr Tunnicliffe-Grundy, aged 46, said: “The taxi driver was entering the school when he saw Thomas had gone very pale. I was called for and when I got into the taxi I could not see any chest movement, and I knew that Thomas had probably suffered a cardiac arrest.
“We immediately got him out of the taxi and took him inside the school. I could not feel any output, and after five breaths nothing happened, so I started manual CPR.
“After about three minutes I detected a heartbeat and there was a gasp of air. The paramedics then arrived and oxygen was administered.”
Thomas’s mum, Annie, of Kidsgrove, said a thank you didn’t seem strong enough to show their gratitude to Marcus and everyone who had helped her son.
She said: “Horton Lodge Special School is unbelievable as Thomas has come on leaps and bounds in the four years he has been there.
“Thomas had undergone an operation for a gastric problem at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool in December.
“This was his first day back at school following his operation.
“We told the school what had gone on, but this incident was out of the blue. The hospital has just told us it was life threatening episode.
“Thomas comes under the umbrella of cereal palsy, but despite tests his condition has been undiagnosed and noone knows what is wrong with him.
“We have every confidence in the school, and what Marcus did goes beyond what a nurse has to do. Thank you is not big enough.
“The headteacher has kept in touch with us all the time, and then kept staff informed.
“Thomas has recovered well and he loves the camera.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service area support officer, Kevin Errington, who was the incident officer said that if it was not for the work of Marcus, things could have been different.
In presenting Mr Tunnicliffe- Grundy, of Bucknall, with a framed certificate, he said: “I want to thank Marcus for his efforts on this day.
“Thomas would not be here if he had not done what he did. It was a fantastic result and shows the benefit of having a school nurse at the scene.”
Mr Errington added: “When I arrived Marcus, a first responder from Leek and a ambulance crew were working as a team.
“I made sure they had everything they needed and I pre alerted the hospital who had paediatrician consultants and nurses ready.”
Mr Tunnicliffe-Grundy added: “It is nice to be recognised, but I was just doing my job. It was a relief when I detected a heartbeat and Thomas gave a gasp of breath.”
The incident took place on January 11 at 8.39am. West Midlands Ambulance Service was on scene within eight minutes after the call.