A TEENAGER used his army cadet skills to save the life of a man suffering a heart attack.

Connah Holden leapt from his dad’s van to administer CPR when he spotted the collapsed man, who had been taking part in an organised long-distance walk.


The 15-year-old used his training as an army cadet in Blackburn to help the walker, who was later airlifted to hospital and remains in a stable condition.

His actions have now been praised as a ‘fantastic inspiration’ to others by the ambulance service while his family said they were very proud.

The youngster and his dad had been driving home to Darwen along the A666 near Turton when the drama unfolded.

The man, who was taken by the North West Air Ambulance to Wythenshawe Hospital, was one of 300 people taking part in the annual Anglezarke Amble, organised by the West Lancashire Long Distance Walkers.

The route takes in much of the West Pennine Moors, including Rivington Pike and Winter Hill.

The Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio student, who is a member of the Lancashire Army Cadet Force, said: “It’s an amazing feeling to have saved someone’s life.

“I didn’t really think about it at the time and looking back on it now it is a bit of a blur.

“My training just kicked in I guess and I only thought of going to help him.

“I’m glad that I was there at the time right and in the right place to help the man.”

Shortly after Connah started CPR the ambulance service, Bolton Mountain Rescue and the fire service arrived and praised him on his actions.

His dad Tom, 45, said: “We were driving back to Darwen and he saw a person on the floor and someone trying to give them CPR.

“He insisted that I stop the car, and he jumped out, ran across the wall and climbed a wall before running up the hill to where this person was.

“Before I got up there he was organising people and taking the lead as well as giving the man CPR.

“When the emergency services arrived they allowed him to keep on going while they sorted out the equipment.

“That shows that he was doing everything correctly.

“It’s amazing really and it’s a bit of a shock that it all happened.

“When the man had been airlifted away the mountain rescue team congratulated Connah on his work and told him that he had saved the man’s life.

“I’m incredibly proud of him and I’m glad that the skills he had learned with the cadets, which he lives and breathes, have come in so useful.

“A lot of adults would not have known what to do so it’s great that Connah had the training so he could help in that situation.”

The youngster, who lives with his family in Cranberry Lane, has also been praised by his school’s principal.

Ruth Bradbury, principal at the enterprise studio, said: “I’m very proud of him and I’m not surprised as I know that he is a cadet and he’s very calm and sensible in a crisis.

“I want to send my best wishes to the gentleman and his family and say that it was very fortunate that Connah was there at the time.”

Cheryl Pickstock, paramedic and chain of survival lead at North West Ambulance Service, said: “On behalf of the Chain of Survival Team for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, we would like to congratulate Connah for his courage and instinct to stop and help this person.

“It is amazing to hear of a young person being able to use life-saving skills and this identifies the need for everyone, young or old, to learn this life-long skill.

“He is a fantastic inspiration to everyone, so well done Connah.”

A spokesman for the mountain rescue team said: “Grateful thanks must be passed to the fellow competitors who carried out the necessary care, including Connah Holden who also greatly assisted and a member of Scarborough & Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team, who was taking part in the event, who assessed and sorted out a suitable landing site for the Helimed helicopter along with the other emergency services on scene.”

Connah added that he hopes to join the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment when he is old enough in around two years time.