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Father and son receive a national award for their life-saving actions

Garry and Ellis Kerr with their Community Hero Award presented to them at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards. Picture: Getty Images/St John Ambulance (4413590)
Garry and Ellis Kerr with their Community Hero Award presented to them at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards. Picture: Getty Images/St John Ambulance (4413590)

Haverhill father and son Garry and Ellis Kerr received a Community Hero award at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards when they were held at the Hilton London Bankside on Monday.

Garry and Ellis, eight, saved the life of former Olympic boxer Mick Carter in August 2017 after he had a heart attack during a round of golf at Haverhill Golf Club.

Garry and Ellis were playing their round when they heard shouting and ran over to find Mick, who they had been speaking to minutes earlier, collapsed on the ground.

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

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 Mick’s heart.

Thanks to Garry’s intervention to keep oxygen flowing to Mick’s brain, he made a full recovery.

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.

The ceremony was hosted by celebrity vicar and one half of 80s pop band The Communards, The Reverend Richard Coles.

The awards were presented by celebrity guests, including TV medic and Strictly Come Dancing hopeful, Dr Ranj Singh.

“It’s unbelievable and I never expected this – just being here is gratitude enough,” said Garry, who received his Community Hero 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’.”

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.”

Now in its seventh year, the event was sponsored by Laerdal Medical.

St John Ambulance’s Chief Executive, Martin-Houghton Brown congratulated the award winners.

“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,” he said.