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Hero teenager saves dad after he stopped breathing while playing with his children

Sandwell | News | Published:

A father has told how his hero son sprung into action and saved his life after he suffered respiratory failure.

Craig Wildman was playing with his five-year-old son Jenson with daughter Indy, six, also in the living room when he passed out.

The youngsters thought he was playing a game, and it wasn't until Caine, 14, arrived home early from school and found his father's lips had turned purple and his eyes and rolled back into his head.

Brave Caine, a pupil at RSA Academy, performed CPR solidly for 10 minutes before paramedics arrived and continued, while Caine looked after his siblings who became hysterical. Kara, the children's mother and Craig's wife, was on her way home from work.

Craig was rushed to hospital, where he spent three days in the intensive care unit. He had suffered respiratory failure as a result of undiagnosed pneumonia on both lungs. Doctors insisted that if it wasn't for Caine's speedy and calm reactions, Craig might not have survived the episode.

Caine Wildman 14, Indy Wildman, six, Craig Wildman, 40, father Jensen Wildman, five, and Vinnie Wildman, aged 11

Craig, 40, who works as a custodial manager at HMP Featherstone said: "I had put tea in for everyone and sat down with Jenson to play on his tablet. It was then that I passed out on the settee. All I remember was coughing and then I went over onto my side. Indy thought I was playing a game and said 'silly Daddy', and climbed on top of me. I fell onto Jenson, and he got out from under me and was climbing on me as well. That happened at about 3.50pm."

He added: "Caine wasn't supposed to be home because he had an after school club, but for some reason, this day it was cancelled. It must be fate.

"He got home at about 4.10pm, and the kids were sitting in front of the TV. He thought I was just lying down so went upstairs and got changed, but when he came downstairs he saw my lips were purple and my eyes had rolled back into my head.

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"He phoned an ambulance and started performing CPR. They told him on the phone to open the door so the paramedics could get straight in. I didn't come round until I was in the back of the ambulance, but he was doing CPR on me for about 10 minutes. "When they got here, the paramedics took over and it was up to Caine to look after the kids and keep them calm because they could tell something was seriously wrong with Daddy. Then my wife got home and she was completely shocked.

"I was taken to hospital and was in the intensive care unit for three days.

"I'll be off work for four to six weeks and I'll be going to Walsall Manor Hospital to work with the respiratory team to build my lungs back up to full capacity. It's a small price to pay to see my kids grow up. There shouldn't be any lasting effect."

He paid tribute to Caine, and believes he should get all the praise in the world for his heroics.

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Craig said: "I'm so grateful to Caine, he's my little hero. Well, maybe not so little, he's bigger than me now.

"He did so well to stay calm and carry out the CPR. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.

"He's so humble about it all, I think he's a bit embarrassed about all the attention he's been getting. Even when I was up at the hospital and he was coming to see me, all the doctors and nurses were shaking his hand.

"He's been nominated for a Pride of Tipton award by myself, his school and the cadets. He's a big West Bromwich Albion fan as well, and the club gave him a few gifts from the club shop which was really nice so we're grateful to them."

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