'He turned blue' - Boy, 9, saved after choking on travel sweet

Nine-year-old Archie Nelson and his mum, Kayleigh Hurren, are reunited with NARS first responder, St

Nine-year-old Archie Nelson and his mum, Kayleigh Hurren, are reunited with NARS first responder, Steve Maddams, who saved Archie from choking on a sweet at a petrol station in Wymondham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The mother of a nine-year-old has told of the terrifying moment her son turned blue as he choked on a sweet.

And she paid warm tribute to the first aid volunteer who stepped in to save young Archie Nelson's life, saying: "I'm forever indebted."

The dramatic day began normally, as Kayleigh Hurren picked up her son from Robert Kett Primary School in Wymondham.

Nine-year-old Archie Nelson and his mum, Kayleigh Hurren, are reunited with NARS first responder, St

Nine-year-old Archie Nelson and his mum, Kayleigh Hurren, are reunited with NARS first responder, Steve Maddams, who saved Archie from choking on a sweet at a petrol station in Wymondham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But during a quick pit-stop at a garage on Exchange Street, on Tuesday, it quickly became a life-and-death drama. 

Ms Hurren said Archie’s body had gone rigid, he was holding his neck and his face turned blue as a travel sweet became lodged in his throat.  


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In sheer panic, Ms Hurren screamed for help and by chance a Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) volunteer was leaving the garage shop.

Archie Nelson, 9, was saved by a Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) volunteer after he started to choke on a sweet.

Archie Nelson, 9, was saved by a Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) volunteer after he started to choke on a sweet. - Credit: Kayleigh Hurren

She said: “I did the school run as normal. I always have travel sweets in my car and Archie asked if he could have one.

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"It was the normal route home but I wasn’t feeling very well so I pulled into the petrol station to get some painkillers.  

“As I was about to get out of the car, I realised he was choking. 

“I started do the back slaps but that wasn’t working. So I screamed for help and this man walking out of the shop chucked his bag on the floor and took over from there. 

“I just went into a blind panic. I didn’t know what to do. You feel so helpless." 

The NARS volunteer, Steve Maddams, eventually managed to dislodge the sweet in Archie’s throat. 

Ms Hurren said if it had not been for Mr Maddams' quick actions, it could have been a very different outcome.

In a Facebook post she said that he had saved her son's life and would "forever be in his debt".

"I could have lost my son," she said to this paper.

“I can’t thank Steve enough for what he did for my family yesterday.

“I was petrified. Essentially, you are watching your child die in front of your eyes. I think now the adrenaline has gone; I feel really reflective about what could have happened.” 

Archie made a quick recovery following the incident and enjoyed getting his photo taken with the air ambulance and its crew – who stuck around to make sure he was okay.

Archie Nelson, 9, was saved by a Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) volunteer after he started to choke on a sweet.

Archie Nelson, 9, was saved by a Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) volunteer after he started to choke on a sweet. Here is pictured following the incident with the air ambulance crew who attended. - Credit: Kayleigh Hurren

Mr Maddams, 38, added: “I had popped out before the England match to fill my car up and grab some snacks for the football. 

“I just paid and I was walking out when I heard a scream and in front of me was a mum shouting for help. As I looked in her car, I could see her son choking and his face and lips had turned blue.  

"I respond for Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) and have done since 2015. I immediately asked for back up and I provided back slaps - which anyone can do with basic first aid training - which dislodged the sweet. 

“I am just pleased I was there. It was simply being at the right place at the right time. The thing about choking is, it can go so wrong so quickly.” 

A spokesman from the East of England Ambulance Service said: “We were called to Norwich Road shortly before 3.30pm on Tuesday, June 29, following reports that a child was choking.  

“A volunteer from NARS attended, along with an EEAST ambulance and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. One patient was treated at the scene but did not need transporting to hospital.” 

NARS is a Norfolk medical charity, established in 1970, made up of a team of doctors, nurses, critical care paramedics, paramedics and first responders who give up their spare time to help people in need.  

Following the incident, Ms Hurren set up a gofundme page to raise awareness and more funding for the charity.  

To donate visit here, https://www.gofundme.com/f/steve-the-nars-hero-archies-story.  

Archie Nelson, 9, was saved by a Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) volunteer after he started to choke on a sweet.

Archie Nelson, 9, was saved by a Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) volunteer after he started to choke on a sweet. - Credit: Kayleigh Hurren


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