Chippenham student praised for saving gran's life

This Is Wiltshire: James Turner with his gran Pamela Cooper James Turner with his gran Pamela Cooper

Teenager James Turner has been praised for saving the life of his grandmother after she choked on a piece of food.

He was eating dinner with his grandparents, Fred and Pamela Cooper, at their home in Severn Close, Calne, a few weeks ago when Mrs Cooper, 84, began choking on a piece of meat pie.

James sprang into action and slapped his grandmother on the back a few times until the piece of food flew out of her mouth.

The modest 13-year-old, a pupil at Abbeyfield School, Chippenham, played down his actions but after his teacher heard about what happened from another pupil he organised a special certificate of commendation.

The certificate was presented to James at the Year 8 end of term assembly by assistant head Mark Fuller.

James’s grandmother and mother believe James’s actions saved Mrs Cooper’s life.

Mrs Cooper said: “The piece of food was well and truly stuck down. I couldn’t get any breath in or out. There was no way it would come out on its own.

“I was panicking and clutching James. He slapped me a few times and asked if he should dial 999 but he could see there wasn’t time.

“He came back and really thumped me on the back. He really gave it some welly and it did the job. He apologised to me for hitting me so hard but I told him it was alright and he had to do it. If he hadn’t put all his might into it I would not be here now. It was a very frightening experience and I was very proud of James. He kept his head.”

James’s mother, Fiona White, 44, a carer and former nurse, said: “I’m very proud of him, he did a very good deed. He didn’t tell me about it. It was my mum who told me the next day.”

James said: “I saw my grandmother was choking so I went to help her as there was no time to really panic. She was changing colour. It wasn’t really frightening. I would rather act quickly and think about it later.”

Asked if he was a hero for what he did he replied: “Not really. I just did what I needed to do at the time.”

Clive Carey, head of Year 8 at Abbeyfield School, said: “James is a very quiet, hard-working student. He knew exactly what to do when his grandmother was choking and did it which is all the more noteworthy.

“Many of us would not have known what to do or would have panicked.”

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