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Schoolgirl Hannah Simmons saves man after collapse on train between Canterbury and Faversham

A quick-thinking schoolgirl saved the life of a young man who collapsed on a train as other passengers stood by and did nothing.

Hannah Simmons, 14, rushed to the man’s aid after he fell to the floor and started gasping for breath.

The Barton Court pupil put him in the recovery position and told rail staff not to move him – an order that later proved to be vital.

Hannah Simmons, 14, whose first aid skills saved a man
Hannah Simmons, 14, whose first aid skills saved a man

She was on her way from Canterbury to Faversham when the drama happened and believes it was her first aid training as an Army cadet which helped her save the man.

The teenager, who lives in Spillett Close, Faversham, and is a member of the town’s cadet corps, said: “I was sat in a carriage when I heard this thud behind me.

“I didn’t think much of it but I got up a couple of minutes before the train was due to come into the station and saw a man lying on the floor by the doors.

“He was obviously in a bad way and making a gasping and gurgling noise.

“Nobody seemed to be doing anything to help him, not even some other men who were with him who were just telling him to get up.

“But I could tell something was seriously wrong and put him gently into the recovery position and made sure he could breathe – which is just as well because soon after he was sick and could have choked.

Hannah pictured in her army cadet uniform after the first incident
Hannah pictured in her army cadet uniform after the first incident

“When the train pulled in, the guards just seemed to want him off the train, but I said ‘no way are you moving this man’ and urged them to call an ambulance, which they did.

“The paramedics discovered that he probably had a broken rib which had punctured a lung, causing it to collapse. They said I had absolutely done the right thing because moving him could have been fatal.

“I left as soon as I could see he was in safe hands. I must admit, I was a bit in shock afterwards but I’m glad my first aid training kicked in.”

Following the incident, Hannah, who is a member of the Student Voice group at Barton Court, is now helping to organise first aid training for all pupils.

She said: “I think everyone should know what to do in a medical emergency because a little thing can mean the difference between life and death.

"When I leave school, my ambition is to be an Army medic.”

Hannah lives with her older sister Ruth, 18, and parents Bob and Rebecca Simmons.

Bob said: “We’re very proud of her and that she stood up to the guards and insisted the man wasn’t moved.”

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