A Bideford teenager has been honoured with a special award after saving the life of her stepdad.
Molly Harris was among the winners at St John Ambulance’s Everyday Heroes awards in London on Monday night.
The 15-year-old was given the Guy Evans Young Hero award after she carried out CPR on Peter Connors, who went into cardiac arrest at the family home on the morning of January 29.
She was getting ready for school when her mum Sarah Connors woke to find 39-year-old Peter unable to breathe, foaming at the mouth and his face going purple.
“I didn’t know what was wrong or have a clue what to do, so I called for help and Molly sprang into action,” said Sarah.
“She told me to call an ambulance, picked her dad up and laid him on the floor, then tilted his head back, put her hands on his chest and started to perform CPR.
“Minutes seemed like hours and everything was going in slow motion, plus Peter was making strange noises – I panicked and thought he was dead, but Molly reassured me that it meant oxygen was getting to his brain so it was ok.
“Doctors told me the chances of surviving an incident like this are just six per cent,” Sarah added.
“The whole family will be eternally grateful for Molly’s efforts, as she saved Peter’s life.
“Thanks to her brave nature and the first aid training she received at cadets, I still have a husband and a father for the kids.”
When ambulance crews arrived 11 minutes later, Molly talked them through what had happened as paramedics used a defibrillator to shock Peter’s heart, before Devon Air Ambulance flew him to Exeter for emergency surgery.
Molly gained her St John Ambulance badge at army cadets in March 2017, but the Bideford College student never thought she would have to use those skills.
She said: “My first reaction was to do the first aid. I didn’t have any other thoughts – just get my dad onto the floor, do the first aid, and call an ambulance.”
The awards ceremony at the Hilton London Bankside was hosted by celebrity vicar, The Reverend Richard Coles, with Strictly Come Dancing hopeful and television doctor Dr Ranj Singh one of the award presenters.
“It’s an absolutely amazing night,” said Molly at the event.
“I’m here with an award in my hand and my dad’s with me.”
Pete, now 40, said: “Basically, if it wasn’t for Molly, I wouldn’t be here; end of.”
St John Ambulance chief executive, Martin Houghton-Brown congratulated Molly and the rest of the award winners.
“The achievements of our award nominees and winners like Molly are extraordinary and I have been overwhelmed by the stories of their everyday heroism in protecting life and health,” he said.