Suffolk father and son who saved former boxer’s life win award

Ellis (front) and Garry Kerr at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards Picture: TIM P WHITBY/G

Ellis (front) and Garry Kerr at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards Picture: TIM P WHITBY/GETTY IMAGES FOR ST JOHN AMBULANCE - Credit: Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images for St John Ambulance

A Suffolk father and son who successfully saved the life of a former Olympic boxer during a round of golf have received a national award for their heroics.

Garry Kerr and his seven-year-old son Ellis, from Haverhill, were among the winners at St John Ambulance’s Heroes Awards, which were held in London on Monday.

Garry and Ellis were playing their round at Haverhill Golf Club in August last year when they heard shouting from a neighbouring hole and found Mick Carter, who represented Great Britain as a bantamweight in the 1968 Mexico Summer Olympics, collapsed on the ground.

Garry instantly began to administer CPR while Ellis – ignoring his dad’s instructions to stay put – ran to another tee to get help from people playing the hole.

After 20 minutes of ongoing CPR, a paramedic arrived and a defibrillator was used to restart Mick’s heart and he has since made a full recovery after undergoing a triple bypass operation at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.


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Following the incident, Garry persuaded the packaging company he works for – ProAmpac in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire – to buy a defibrillator from St John Ambulance and then took a course on how to use it.

The company also decided to make it a public access defibrillator and register it on the NHS database of defibrillators.

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“It’s unbelievable and I never expected this – just being here is gratitude enough”, Garry said after receiving his award from GP and author 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 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.”

Martin Houghton-Brown, St John Ambulance chief executive, congratulated the winners at the awards, which were hosted by celebrity vicar Reverend Richard Coles.

“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,” Mr Houghton-Brown said.

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