West Sussex couple praise paramedics who saved their three-year-old son's life - 'We’re just so thankful and feel extremely lucky'

A couple from West Sussex have said ‘there are no words to describe’ how grateful they are for the paramedics who came to the aid of their three-year-old son, after he suffered a severe allergic reaction.

Amy Hickling and Ian Cole have thanked friend and neighbour Steve Leggatt and his fellow paramedic Keith Roskilly for the quick treatment they provided to son Mason.

Police officer Amy and sales manager Ian were at home, in Felpham, eating dinner with Mason on August 18, when his face, lips and tongue became swollen and his breathing laboured, after he ate some curry and mango chutney.

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Looking for some initial advice, the couple phoned Steve. Realising the potential seriousness of the situation, he called into the control room and requested he and Keith, who were by chance on shift in the area, be diverted from a lower priority call.

Amy Hickling and Ian Cole have thanked the paramedics who gave quick treatment to their son Mason

Ian said: “Within minutes Mason went from being a bit agitated to really starting to swell up. Steve said he could hear him over the phone and knew he needed checking quickly.”

The pair arrived at the family’s home in less than two minutes and found that Mason was now struggling to breath and needed urgent treatment.

“We were very aware of how serious the situation was,” Steve said. “I remember hearing Mason struggling to breath as we entered the house.

“En route, with Keith driving, I was thinking ahead to what the likely course of action would be."

Amy Hickling and Ian Cole initially called friend and neighbour Steve Leggatt (right) after their three-year-old son suffered a severe allergic reaction at home

Steve and Keith placed Mason on a nebuliser and administered anti anaphylactic drugs to stabilise him.

Steve added: “The initial treatment worked in that Mason’s condition settled to an extent. But we knew that it was still vital that he received hospital treatment.”

Mason thankfully continued to recover with further treatment and an overnight stay at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

While Mason had never suffered an allergic reaction before, despite eating products containing nuts, allergy tests have since revealed a severe peanut allergy and the family must now never leave the house without epi pens and antihistamine medicine.

Ian said: “There are no words to describe how grateful we are to both Steve and Keith. They were with us so quickly and if it had been five or ten minutes later I think we would have been in real trouble.

"We’re just so thankful and feel extremely lucky.”

Amy said the family will 'never be able to express our true gratitude' but hope to raise awareness to others as to 'how fortunate we are to have such brilliant people' working for South East Coast Ambulance Service.

She added: “Working for an emergency service myself I appreciate that there can often be little recognition for amazing work and in this case, life-saving work."

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