The quick-thinking and calmness of a six-year-old Rhondda Cynon Taf student helped save his mother from choking, and all of his family, friends and teachers are extremely proud of him.
Zachary James, a Year 2 learner at Maesybryn Primary School, Llantwit Fardre, saw his mother coughing and struggling to breathe at home. But he immediately knew what to do to assist her and began administering his first aid skills.
Showing great calmness and maturity beyond his years, Zachary started slapping his mother Sadie heartily on her back, eventually dislodging the blockage, which was preventing her from breathing properly.
Councillor Susan Morgans, Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf, said: “We have remarkable learners and young achievers in all of our schools across the County Borough, none more so than young Zachary.
“The Council would like to commend him on his first aid and lifesaving skills at such a young age and send him our sincere congratulations on such a positive outcome.”
His parents, key workers Sadie and Tim, of Llantwit Fardre, cannot thank their son enough for what he did.
The drama unfolded on a Sunday morning, when Sadie was drinking a cup of tea and unable to catch her breath. She went into the kitchen to attempt to cough to remove the liquid blockage, away from Zachary and his brother Xavier.
But Zachary followed his mother into the kitchen and asked if she was OK. Still unable to catch her breath, Sadie was unable to reply and her son realised something was seriously wrong.
Proud mother Sadie said: “All of our family, especially me, are so proud of Zach and what he did on that day. He remembered me telling him in the past that the best thing to do if you see someone chocking is hit them on their back.
“He tried to reach up to attempt to slap me on the back and I knelt down in order for him to do it properly. I gave him a thumbs up and I finally I felt something pop and release in my throat and I was able to take a gasp of air.
“I truly believe that due to Zach’s actions, he helped me in the frightening situation I was in. I was worried I would frighten him as I couldn’t speak, but he stayed really calm throughout.
“Zach knows that what he did on that day was very special. After giving him the biggest hug, I thanked him and told him how proud I was of him. He told me that he wanted to save me as he wanted me around for a long time.”
Simon Roberts, Head of Maesybryn Primary School, said: “What Zachary did on that morning is absolutely incredible, and all associated with our school are so proud of him.
“He is a remarkable young learner and deserves all the credit he gets. We are all delighted that his mum is now fully recovered.”