Two teenagers who tried to save their friend when he collapsed while playing football have been named as the first recipients of Hull City AFC’s new Community Heroes Award.
Jacob Richards and James Oliphant have received ten tickets for the Tigers’ home game against Blackpool (Friday August 5th) from Neil Hudgell Solicitors, the sponsors of the award which honours people who make a positive contribution to the community in the Hull area.
Jacob and James had been playing football with Joshua Fell on the field at Hornsea School and Language College on the evening of Thursday June 9, 2011 when Joshua, aged 15, a keen sportsman and Hull City fan, sat and then lay down after suddenly starting to feel tired and unwell. The other two boys first thought Joshua had gone to sleep but then realised he wasn’t conscious. Jacob, aged 14 at the time, immediately began first aid to try to revive Joshua. Jacob then showed James, also aged 14, how to continue CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) while he telephoned for an ambulance. However, despite the boys’ efforts, Joshua was later pronounced dead at Hull Royal Infirmary. Jacob and James were put forward for the Community Heroes Award by Donna and Richard Fell, Joshua’s parents, who also encouraged others to nominate the boys. Donna Fell said: “I’m really delighted that Jacob and James have got the Community Heroes Award because they need to be recognised for what they did to help Josh. For an adult to try CPR would be hard enough but for two fourteen year old lads to act as they did, not to panic, to give it a go, to call 999 and to stay with Josh is amazing and we’re so grateful.” Joshua died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) where a serious disturbance in the heart’s rhythm causes cardiac arrest, even when the person’s heart has previously been healthy. Mrs Fell said that no matter what Jacob and James had done, they would not have been able to save her son but should be proud of the way that they acted to help. Mrs Richards, Jacob’s mother, said: “I am very proud of Jacob. He tried really hard to keep Josh alive. He’s a very compassionate boy and has showed enormous courage. I’m so pleased he’s been given the Community Heroes award with James, especially as Josh was such a big Hull City fan.” Craig Oliphant, James’ father, said he was also very pleased his son had received the award: “I am proud as punch that he did what he did. I don’t think many adults would have coped as well in that situation.” Neil Hudgell, managing director of Neil Hudgell Solicitors which specialises in compensation claims for personal injury and medical negligence, said that as well as Mr and Mrs Fell, many people had also nominated Jacob and James for the Community Heroes Award. Neil Hudgell said: “Jacob and James acted with enormous bravery and showed great presence of mind. I’m pleased that we can recognise their efforts and thank them for what they did. I also hope the award will raise awareness of SADS and help Mr and Mrs Fell with their fund-raising campaign.” As well as sponsoring the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Community East stand at the KC Stadium, Neil Hudgell Solicitors are supporting the club’s Community Heroes Award by giving away ten tickets for every Tigers home game throughout the season to people nominated by their friends, colleagues or family for their good work and positive contribution. Linton Brown, commercial manager at Hull City AFC, said: “We at the club did all we could with Rich and Donna Fell to help celebrate Josh’s life, and we’re pleased to be part of an initiative recognising Jacob and James’ efforts. “ Donna and Richard Fell are aiming to raise £10,000 for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) so the charity can fund screening in the Hornsea area to pinpoint any youngsters that may be at risk of SADS. Mrs Fell said: “It just seems so cruel that such a healthy fit lad should be taken away like this. We want to try to stop it happening to another family in our area and hopefully the screening will pick up any young person who could be in danger.” Since Joshua’s death, the Fell family have been undergoing tests at Leeds General Infirmary. These have revealed that Joshua’s sister Jasmine, aged nine, may have Long Q T syndrome, a rare heart condition, which is now being treated with Beta blockers, however she will need to have more tests before this is confirmed. Jacob and James will be sharing their tickets for Friday’s game with some of the family, friends of Joshua and members of the Hornsea community who have already raised nearly £2,000 for CRY: earlier this week, eight friends did a sponsored cycle ride from the town to Dalby Forest and back and this weekend there will be a stall and tombola in Hornsea centre. For more information or to donate go to the Josh Fell (Felly) page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving
To nominate a Community Hero – someone who makes a real difference to others’ lives at home, at school or in the wider community – and give them the chance of receiving up to ten tickets for a Hull City AFC home game please send details via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Neil Hudgell Solicitors, 530 Holderness Road, Hull, HU9 3DT. Nominations are open from now until the end of the season. Please state the name of the person nominated and the reasons why along with a contact telephone number.