Heart-attack schoolboy thanks paramedics

45-minutes of CPR keeps Joe alive

The family of a Newcastle schoolboy have praised paramedics for saving their son by carrying out CPR for 45-minutes after he suffered a heart-attack.


Joe - heart-attack

 L-R Anna Graham, Joe McDougal, Daniel Cooper


The drama started when Joe McDougal went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing at his home in Longbenton, North Tyneside.

Quick-thinking dad John jumped into action and began to frantically revive his son, while his wife Tracey was talking to NEAS over the phone.

Joe, now 15, had been in his bedroom when he collapsed in October. Paramedics, Rapid Response and the Red Cross were called to the home and crews performed CPR for 45 minutes.

Joe's family braced themselves for the worst when medical staff were forced to shock him 12 times before he came round.

The St Mary's RC School pupil was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary and then transferred to the Freeman Hospital.

Joe said: "I can't really remember much that happened. I'm really lucky. I always thank my dad for what he did."

Paramedic Anna Graham, who was called to the emergency, said that if John hadn't had started CPR, his son wouldn't be alive today.

Anna said: "I do believe that his dad starting the CPR saved his life. We just went along and did our job.

"When we got told about the job we didn't expect it to be someone so young. We didn't expect to hear about someone doing CPR on somebody 14 years old.

"Joe must be a very strong lad and we were just very glad about the outcome."

Joe, who is making a speedy recovery, has now returned to school for half-days.

John, who works for Balfour Beatty, said: "I just went into Joe's room and he was in a heap. I couldn't think I just picked him up and started doing CPR. Something just took over my body.

"If I had to do it now, I couldn't. But when you're in that situation you just have no choice. It was a nightmare. I get flashbacks of what happened, even now. I just didn't want to leave his side."

It is still unknown what caused the cardiac arrest and his family fear it could happen again.

Mum Tracey, 44, said: "I'm just so happy that he's still here. It's a miracle. It was just as well his dad was there.

"I just don't know how he did it. Everything happened so quickly. If the paramedics hadn't got there so quick, I don't know what the outcome would have been.

"We have no idea what caused it. It could come on again. We just worry about him all the time.

"He's been looking great and he's doing really well. He's back to his normal self."

The family have praised paramedics Anna Graham and Daniel Cooper, and Red Cross volunteers Ben Waugh and Helen Webb, for their efforts.

Tracey added: "It's absolutely wonderful what everyone has done for Joe.

"He wouldn't have been here today if it wasn't for my husband, the paramedics and the staff at the hospital. Everyone has been amazing. I just can't thank them enough."

Share this page

Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

Back to top

Enable Recite