THANK you. Those are the heartfelt words of Jacob Smith and his mum Hayley Smith to the paramedics who saved the seven-year-old’s life.
A crew having a lunch break at Portsdown Hill sprang into action to help the youngster when he was knocked unconscious after he had an accident and started to go into shock.
Jacob hit his head and started to shake violently as Hayley frantically tried to get him to come round.
But just 30 yards away on a bench were two paramedics enjoying the view and eating chips.
Describing the drama, Hayley, 32, of Oracle Drive, Crookhorn, said: ‘We came here for our lunch.
‘He was running around and all of a sudden he tripped.
‘He went straight into the bench and hit his head. He ended up on the floor and couldn’t get himself up.
‘I picked him up and he was like jelly.
‘I sat him up on the bench and he was sick three times. He couldn’t keep his eyes open.’
Paramedics Paul Snow and Karl Touhey, who had come to the hill in a car, saw the incident and did not hesitate for a second.
By pure chance, an ambulance was parked behind as another two paramedics, Alex Hepner and Marcin Szeliga, were taking part in a driver training course led by Nigel Robb, education manager at South Central Ambulance Service.
‘They came over straight away,’ said Hayley. ‘I told them he was diabetic and they tested him. His sugar levels were fine at that point.
‘They went over to get the ambulance driver. By that point he was shaking.
‘They grabbed him and went over to the ambulance.’
Jacob, who attends Morelands Primary School, was taken by ambulance to Queen Alexandra Hospital.
It took 30 minutes for him to regain consciousness and a further four days for him to feel well again.
He remembers nothing about the accident.
Speaking about the paramedics, Jacob, whose middle name is Kanu after the Pompey player who secured FA Cup victory in 2008, said: ‘Thank you.
‘When I got home, I said they were superstars.’
Hayley said: ‘If I had phoned an ambulance, I worry it would not have got here in time the way he was.
‘Considering they were on a lunch break, the crew could have told me I had to call an ambulance.
‘They were eating chips, they went in the bin and they were off. It was amazing.’
She added: ‘We were going to buy them lunch.’
Paul, who works with Karl for ERS Medical, a private ambulance provider for Scas, said: ‘When I first saw Jacob I was quite concerned for him.
‘He was pale, floppy and not responding. Also that he had vomited – all the red flags for a serious head injury.
‘I knew that he needed our help immediately and that we had to get him to hospital.’
Karl added: ‘Just seeing Jacob’s happy smiling face makes not just missing my lunch but the whole job worthwhile.’