A QUICK-THINKING teenager who saved a stranger’s life in a ‘million-to-one’ chance meeting at a church in Crosby has been given an unusual present as a reward for his actions.
In March, the Champion revealed how Matthew Williams, 16, who is originally from Bootle but lives with his mum, Ann, in Crosby, was completing a school project for his Religious Education GCSE on the religions of the world, when he decided that he would attend a church service to gain an understanding of Christianity.
Matthew, who is a Year 11 pupil at St Mary’s in Crosby, had never been to church before when he attended the Sunday evening service at St Luke’s Church on Liverpool Road in Crosby. Halfway through the service, the man sat next to him, a professor - who, by chance, usually attended daytime services but was at the evening service as a one-off - suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
Luckily, Matthew, who is a member of the Irish Guards Cadets in Crosby, had only just completed a reviser course learning CPR with the Cadets and immediately started performing the life-saving procedure to keep the man’s oxygen levels up for 10 minutes before the North West Ambulance Service arrived.
A group of Irish Guards read in the Champion about what he had done and showed their appreciation by gifting Matthew with a hand carved blackthorn shilleileigh – an officer’s cane - made by former Sergeant Jim Prendeville from High Wycombe who sent it to former Sergent Lawrence Liddy to present to Matthew at his home in Maghull. As well as this, Matthew was delighted to told that he will be given The Lord Lietenant Commendation Award 2020 - but only when it is safe to hold the prestigious annual ceremony!
His proud mum Ann said: “The man that Matt saved has recovered really well and me and Matt met him and his wife for a socially distance meet-up along with his wife at the church in May. He has no memory of the day at all and even asked to take a photo of Matt so he could show all his friends ‘this is the boy who saved my life!’
“Matthew is thrilled at receiving a letter inviting him down to The Irish Guards Regimental Head Quarters in London, when it is safe, to present him with ‘something special.’
“The Irish Guards are made up of The Regiment, The Association and The Cadets - they are very proud of their cadets and even hold annual competitions in Ireland, The Mini Micks Competitions, on St Patrick’s Day, which The Crosby Detachment run by Sgt Buchannan have won two years on the run 2018/2019 both of which Matt took part in.
“Part of the prize is to travel to London to spend the day at Welington Barracks and meet the Colonal of the Regiment, Prince William! Due to Coronavirus, it was cancelled this year but he has invited back next year even if Crosby don't win!”