'I couldn't see or hear him breathing': School nurse Marcus Tunnicliffe-Grundy praised for saving Kidsgrove youngsters life (video)
SCHOOL nurse Marcus Tunnicliffe-Grundy has been praised for saving the life of a pupil who suffered a cardiac arrest on his way to class.
Disabled seven-year-old Thomas Estcourt, of Kidsgrove, stopped breathing for at least four minutes after being taken ill.
But 46-year-old Marcus carried out emergency CPR to get Thomas breathing again.
The Horton Lodge Special School pupil was taken to hospital and given the all-clear after tests.
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Now Marcus, of Bucknall, has received a commendation from West Midlands Ambulance Service for his life-saving actions.
Thomas had just arrived at the Rudyard school by taxi when the alarm was raised.
Marcus, who has worked at the school for four years, said: "As soon as I saw Thomas I knew something was wrong. I got into the taxi and couldn't hear or see him breathing, there was no chest movement.
"I got him straight out and took him into the classroom. I checked to see if he had a heartbeat but he hadn't so I started compressions."
Marcus, who used to work at the paediatric unit at Crewe's Leighton Hospital, said: "It was about four minutes before I could hear a heartbeat. When he took his first gasp of air it was such a relief and from then on he just kept getting stronger and stronger.
"It wasn't in my head that he wouldn't make it. Once I started CPR I just didn't stop until paramedics arrived. I was just doing my job and to get recognised for it is beyond what I could have expected. There are lots of nurses doing this every day."
Hospital doctors have failed to establish why Thomas's heart stopped but it is believed he suffered a panic attack.
Wheelchair-bound Thomas has an undiagnosed condition which means he cannot walk or talk.
Mother Annmarie, who works as a dinner lady, said: "I didn't see Thomas until I got to the hospital.
"It was a complete shock because he was absolutely fine when he left home in the morning. It was all very sudden so we are grateful to Marcus for acting so quickly.
"Thank you is not enough, nothing will ever be enough. He went above and beyond his nursing duties to save Thomas's life. Thomas is back to his usual self now. He is always smiling and is bubbly and happy."
Paramedic Kevin Errington, area support officer based in Stoke-on-Trent, attended the January emergency.
He said: "Without Marcus's efforts Thomas would not be here today. He was very, very poorly.
"It was a fantastic result for us and it just goes to show the benefit of knowing CPR because if Marcus didn't have these skills the outcome would have been completely different."