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Mum Louise Daval thanks friends who saved son James Craigen's life after crash at Luton Rec in Chatham

By Chris Hunter

As 12-year-old James Craigen lay on the ground having a fit after crashing his bike, his friends knew they had to take swift action.

Now his grateful mum Louise Daval has praised them for helping to save his life.

The Greenacre Academy pupil was cycling with friends when he hit some tree roots at the bottom of a hill in Luton Rec and flew off his bike, hitting his head.

Louise Daval with Ryan Walsh 12, Louise Daval, James Craigan 12, Connor Clayton 16 and Jimmy Hazel 13

Realising he was having a fit, friends Ryan Walsh, 12, Jimmy Hazel, 13, and Connor Clay, 16, leapt into action, putting him in the recovery position and phoning for an ambulance.

Paramedics rushed him to Kings College Hospital in London, where he was put into an induced coma overnight.

Two days later he was back home in Sheridan Close, Chatham, and is now on his way to a full recovery.

“Some of the lads thought he was joking,” said his mum. “But there’s three special boys who I can’t thank enough.

“One of the lads had enough sense to know it was a fit. Jimmy Hazel said ‘it’s not right I’m going to ring an ambulance’.

“I’ve been told they saved his life,” she added. “I’m so proud of them – for kids that young to know what to do and be responsible.”

Jimmy described the moment he knew his friend was in trouble.

James Craigen in intensive care after crashing his bike

“They were taking it in turns to go down a slope,” he said.

“James came down and I saw him go into the air - he flew in the air and hit the floor.

“I knew something wasn’t right - he was making pig noises.”

James himself can’t remember much of the crash.

"There’s three special boys who I can’t thank enough" - Louise Daval

“I remember just sitting down holding my head,” he said. “I felt dizzy.”

Mum Louise is now urging all cyclists to wear a helmet.

“The worst thing was sitting up all night and wondering if your child is going to wake up,” she said.

“Please put those hats on. Wear a helmet.

“If I can stop one person going through this nightmare, I’ve achieved something.”

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