Man with 22 minutes to live saved after teen recognised symptoms

Jonathan Masson saved his father David's life
Jonathan Masson saved his father David's life
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A FATHER struck down with a sudden heart attack has told how his son saved his life by persuading him he was not suffering from indigestion but was moments from death.

David Masson, 59, had been feeling unwell during a fishing trip last month but was convinced all he needed was a bite to eat.

But when he arrived at his Penicuik home, his condition worsened and he began complaining about a “tightness” in his chest and arm.

Son Jonathan, 16, instantly recognised the symptoms and worked hard to convince his dad he was gravely ill before raising the alarm.

A nurse later told the family Mr Masson had faced a 20-minute race against time to survive and that his quick-thinking son had probably saved his life.

Mr Masson said: “I’d walked about half a mile to the River Esk and although I had some cramp in my arm and a little tightening in my chest, I thought it was just indigestion. I started to head home thinking that once I had something to eat I would be OK to come back out fishing.

“Jonathan was sitting in the living room watching TV when I got in and asked what was wrong. I told him my symptoms and he said, ‘Dad, I think you’re having a heart attack’.

“I told him, ‘Don’t be silly’ and thought he was being a little melodramatic but he said, ‘I’m going to call my mum’ and grabbed my phone off me to ring her and the paramedics. He’s 6ft-something so I didn’t argue.”

Paramedics rushed to the scene and after checking over the ailing father of three they revealed he was suffering a cardiac arrest.

Mr Masson said: “Without Jonathan I would have died, without a shadow of a doubt. When I say he’s my hero I mean it.”

Jonathan, who had fortunately completed a training course by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “It was very scary. I asked him what was wrong and he said he had a pain in his arm and tightening in his chest. I clicked what it was but didn’t want to alarm him.

“So I grabbed his phone to raise the alarm.”

The youngster, who is to be awarded a certificate of achievement by the BHF, added: “It’s great that he’s proud of me and that I did the charity’s Heartstart programme because if I didn’t it may have turned out very differently.”

His dad revealed that a nurse told him he had 22 minutes to get medical treatment or he would have died.

“Jonathan recognised the symptoms in the nick of time,” he said.

“I took a bit of convincing but that’s what I’m like.”

Claire O’Neill, Heartstart programme lead for the BHF, said: “Every six minutes someone dies of a heart attack in the UK but Jonathan’s quick thinking made sure his dad definitely wasn’t one of them.

“Jonathan’s dad is a lucky man and his family is rightly very proud of him – as are we.”