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News Archive > General > Hero Harvey saves mum

Hero Harvey saves mum

By Beth Perry 24th October 2018

Hero Harvey saves mum
13-year-old Harvey with Scout Leader Phil Dring (Pic: Beth Perry)

A 13-YEAR-OLD Scout who helped save his mother from a dangerous and life-threatening situation has been commended for his quick thinking and bravery.

Harvey France and his mum Laura Lacey had spent the day moving equipment and food around their field, which is between Quintrell Downs and Kestle Mill, as they prepared a larger shelter for the horses in the winter.

They were the only people in the field and after a day of hard work decided to feed the horses but an unexpected turn of events saw the normal day very quickly turn into a dangerous situation.

Laura, who was moving across the field became was caught between a group of horses who had started to fight. She was kicked and knocked to the ground where the horses trampled her and knocked Laura unconscious.

Quick-thinking Harvey ran over to the horses and waved them away, kneeling down and making sure his mum, who had started to come round, did not move too much in case she had damaged her neck or back.

Using the knowledge he had learned from being a member of 1st Newquay Scouts, Harvey began to assess the situation and his mum’s injuries. But the horses started coming closer again and the 13-year-old had to make the difficult decision on whether to move his injured parent.

Harvey explained: “I ran over and managed to get the horses away before I checked mum was breathing and if she was conscious. She was starting to come around but wasn’t very awake, she was confused and kept asking where she was and what we were doing in the field. She kept trying to sit up even though I kept trying to stop her from moving.

“But when the horses came back over I had to decide what to do, the first thing we learned in Scouts was not to move an injured person but if the horses started fighting again then mum would have been caught between them again and probably injured even more.”

Harvey made the decision to move his mum but unfortunately Laura had sustained a serious leg injury when she had been trampled and so fell over when she tried to move.

Harvey said: “She went straight back down because her leg was hurt. Mum had blood coming out of her nose and lip and her leg and arm had a puncture wounds, which were bleeding, and she had obviously taken a knock to the head so I had to put my arms under hers and I managed to drag her backwards to keep her leg as still as possible and got us behind the horse box where it was safer.

“I then made sure pressure was kept on her wounds like they taught us during the first aid courses in Scouts.”

Satisfied mum was safe for the moment, the teenager then called an ambulance and gave the phone operator all of the details of the incident and also followed their instructions.

Laura became very confused due to the head injury, she could not remember how old she was and gave an address from five years ago when prompted to say where she lived.

But Harvey kept calm and managed to direct the paramedics to the rural field using landmarks and his navigation skills as well as call his step-dad, Chris.

The 13-year-old said: “They had trouble finding us, the road is unnamed and is one of many fields off a bridleway and is really rural so I had to try and explain how to reach us.

“Mum was really in pain with the adrenaline wearing off so I wanted them to get to us quickly. I used the things I had learned doing the Coast to Coast challenge with Scouts where we have to find our way using only landmarks and simple directions.”

Thanks to Harvey keeping calm and giving good directions, the rapid response team managed to reach the pair followed by an ambulance.

Laura was taken in the ambulance to Treliske’s Major Trauma Unit where she had a large number of CT scans and x-rays before being treated for a partially collapsed lung, deep puncture wounds in her leg and a crushed arm as well as a head injury.

Following the incident Laura spent the night in a hospital and has spent the last month recovering, and at first was unable to walk or drive for a while.

Laura said: “The whole situation must have been very frightening for him, but Harvey kept calm and didn’t panic. Making that split-second to move me was very brave because if I had been trampled again it could have been so much worse.

“He came with me in the ambulance and was very calm and reassuring. At the hospital I was taken for CT scans and x-rays and it was only when he knew that, apart from injuries I would recover from, I was going to be ok that Harvey allowed himself to give into his own emotions.

“I’m so proud of the way he handled the situation, how calm he kept and how he put his Scout training into practice. I’m also very grateful to the Scout Group for the first aid training Harvey has received and managed to put into practice. It’s an amazing group.”

After the incident Harvey, his younger brother Toby and their friend Izzy Wickham, who are also Scouts, took it upon themselves to make the field safer and have sectioned off the horses from each other and created a walkway through the sections so anyone feeding the horses can just reach in rather than have to get too close.

Harvey said: “I’m very proud I was able to help my mum, we do so much first aid training with Scouts that it just instantly came to me what I needed to do.

“I wouldn’t have known as much without Scouts so I’m so glad I’m a member and I learned how to help people and deal with an emergency situation.”

Phil Dring, the Group Scout Leader of 1st Newquay Scout Group was first told about the incident from Harvey who modestly told the leader he wouldn’t be at Scouts because his mum “had a little knock”.

But when Laura explained the situation and what Harvey had done Phil immediately nominated the Scout for one of the highest awards available in the association.

Phil explained: “After understanding the full details of the incident, I presented Harvey with the 1st Newquay Scout Award for outstanding bravery and after I informed the District Commissioner of Scouting he agreed to nominate Harvey for the Cornwell Badge.

"The badge an award for youth members of the Scout Association across the Commonwealth and is awarded in recognition of devotion to duty, courage and endurance. We don’t know if Harvey will be chosen but last year only five or six people received it making even a nomination a big honour.

“As a Scout leader, it is at times like this that you are rewarded for the work that you put into Scouting, Harvey has shown that the 'skills for life' which we aspire to pass on to the young people of our community are truly valuable when an incident like this occurs. It is a massive source of pride to see the skills you have taught a young person being used to such good effect.”

By Beth Perry 24th October 2018

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