Dad saves ‘healthy’ son, 7, who died for 15 minutes after heart suddenly stopped

A 'perfectly healthy' seven-year-old boy who died for 15 minutes after a sudden cardiac arrest at home was saved by his quick-thinking dad.

Schoolboy Tommy Plant's heart stopped twice as he collapsed in his Birmingham home on January 19 and medics still don't know why.

Tommy's three brothers, Harry, 14, George, 17 and Ben, 10, watched in horror as their brother went into cardiac arrest.

Thankfully his dad Jason Plant, 42, managed to perform CPR for six minutes before paramedics arrived on the scene.

Despite Tommy being clinically dead for 15 minutes, specialist doctors were able to restart his heart.

Following 16 days in hospital, the youngster was able to walk our of Birmingham Children's Hospital against all the odds.

Dad-of-four Jason, who works in telecommunications, said: "It was terrifying – Tommy was just about clinging to life when the paramedics arrived.

"He'd woken up fine, he had a little cough and cold but nothing major.

"My wife Alison, 41, had woken him up and said everything was fine at first but just minutes after being downstairs he turned grey. At that point Alison called 999 for help.

"I was at the shop when she rang, and I ran home – I knew straight away that something was horrendously wrong.

"He looked like he'd had a big shock, he was pale, sweating and becoming unresponsive.

"I pleaded with him to say daddy, to squeeze my hand – he managed it to begin with but I knew he was getting worse.

"Alison then called for an ambulance a second time while I started CPR, it was the scariest moment of our lives.

"He technically died for 15 minutes before his heart restarted."

Jason, who had previously undergone basic first aid training, added: "He wasn't breathing and his arms were rigid, the phone operators were talking me through CPR on the phone.

"It could have only been two minutes, but it seemed like forever.

"I was so scared, it was unbelievable – it felt like my world was falling apart.

"I've always been told that CPR is a last resort, and when the cardiologist came from Great Ormond Street in London, he was baffled.

"There was nothing to suggest Tommy may have been at higher risk from a cardiac arrest.

"We were told he might not make it and that his chances were incredibly slim."

He added: "He was put in an induced coma for 72 hours, and we were told – he might not walk, talk or remember you.

"I'm not a religious guy but I prayed every day – to aid his recovery Birmingham Children's Hospital's chaplain told Tommy he could play football in the chapel.

"Watching that, and all the people that helped him – they enabled him to walk out of hospital just 16 days later.

"He's now playing all the time, loving watching the football and all the things he did before, but I am concerned it's all been too much.

"The other day, he saw an ambulance and panicked, hoping that they're not for him.

"I have to reassure him – his heart is better and there's been no real damage but everyone has been a bit dumbfounded by it.

"It just shows anyone can have a cardiac arrest and now I just want to give back."

Jason has set up a JustGiving link to support Birmingham Children's Hospital. To donate, click here.

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