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Kwik Fit hero saves choking student

A YOUNG mechanic performed life-saving first aid on a semi-conscious student who was choking on a sandwich. Mick Pelling quickly removed the food from her mouth as she lay face-down and gasping for air during a suspected fit.

The drama began as Mr Pelling, an exhaust and tyre fitter at Kwik Fit in Wincheap, Canterbury, was walking past Canterbury East railway station and spotted the 18-year-old student collapse on a footbridge.

Mr Pelling, 22, who learned first aid in the Army, said: "I realised she was in a bad way. I thought she was having an epileptic fit so I dialled 999. I realised she was choking on a sandwich and couldn't breath so I dug it out of her mouth and lay her in the recovery position. She couldn't really speak - she was barely conscious."

An ambulance crew arrived and took the girl to hospital. But Mr Pelling didn't leave it there. He then walked up to the hospital to check on her condition. "She was awake and talking," he said. "I think they'd taken a couple of x-rays. She told me her name was Jules and said thank-you for saving her. I was glad to see she was OK and left."

Several days later, though, the student appeared at Mr Pelling's work with a box of chocolates and a card, which said: "Thanks for what you did for me. You're one-in-a-million."

Mr Pelling said: "It was really nice of her but I just did what I hope most people would have done."

A spokesman for the East Kent NHS Trust confirmed that an 18-year-old student called Julie was taken by ambulance to hospital having choked during a suspected epileptic fit.

The KM Group's Kentish Gazette newspaper is keen to trace Julie. If you can help please contact Chris Pragnell at the Kentish Gazette at 9 St George's Place, Canterbury, phone 01227 475 or email cpragnell@thekmgroup.co.uk

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