Brave Mousehole boy saves epileptic girl's life
A BRAVE boy saved a girl's life after she suffered a seizure in the water.
Richie Payne, 11, had been swimming and returned to the water in Mousehole harbour after falling over and getting sandy.
He soon spotted the 10-year-old, who was having an epileptic fit, and rushed to her aid.
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"I saw the girl swirling around so I swam over," he said. "I took her mask off and she was foaming at the mouth and her lips were blue. It was quite scary."
The girl's younger sister was calling for help, and Jessie Walter, a local fisherman and friend of Richie's late grandfather, was on his boat. The girl's mum also arrived after being alerted, and they hauled her on board while a woman on the shore called 999.
"We got towels and put her in the recovery position – then we waited for the paramedics," said Richie. "I didn't feel anything at the time because it happened so quickly. But afterwards in the night I felt very sick, just because it was scary thinking about it."
Modestly, he added: "People said I was a hero and deserve a medal – but it's nothing really."
The young holidaymaker was airlifted to Royal Cornwall Hospital by RNAS Culdrose helicopter, with an ambulance, police, the coastguard and the RNLI on the scene. She was kept overnight but is now home and recovered.
Her mum, who did not want to be named, said: "Richie was amazing in that he registered the epilepsy and called to my younger daughter to keep her head above water – absolutely crucial to the outcome as this is what she then did as best as she could.
"We wanted to pass on our enormous thanks to everyone who helped us on the harbourside and in the village, the extraordinary rescue services, coastguards, police and staff at Treliske (hospital).
"We also owe so much to the female nurse with dark hair and fisherman who gave such terrific advice and calm support. A drowning was avoided.
"Thanks to you all our daughter is now home and well."
Richie is starting Year 7 at Mount's Bay Academy and his mum Julie said she felt "very proud" of his quick-thinking and courage.
She also noted lifesaving seems to be in the family, with husband Jed, Richie's father, a volunteer at the Penlee Lifeboat Station, while his grandfather also served with the RNLI. She expects to see him follow in his father's footsteps.
Patch Harvey, coxswain at Penlee, whose team was on the scene within two minutes of receiving a call at 5pm on Friday, said: "If he hadn't gone in who knows what might've happened.
"We hear these horrible stories all the time – it's about reacting and knowing what to do. Things can go wrong so fast."
The crew of inshore lifeboat Paul Alexander helped paramedics and noted concern about how much water she had swallowed.