A couple from Felpham, West Sussex, have praised the actions of a South East Coast Ambulance (SECAmb) crew who came to the aid of their three-year-old son.

Mum, Amy Hickling and dad Ian Cole, have thanked friend and neighbour, paramedic Steve Leggatt and his crew mate Keith Roskilly for the quick treatment they provided to son Mason, after he suffered a severe allergic reaction.

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

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.

Arriving at the family’s home in less than two minutes, the pair could see they were going to have to act swiftly. In that short time, Mason was now struggling to breath and needed urgent treatment.

“We were very aware of how serious the situation was,” said Steve. “En route, with Keith driving, I was thinking ahead to what the likely course of action would be. I remember hearing Mason struggling to breath as we entered the house.”

Steve and Keith placed Mason on a nebuliser and administered anti anaphylactic drugs to stabilise him. “The initial treatment worked in that Mason’s condition settled to an extent,” explained Steve. “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 he 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:

“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. They were with us so quickly and if it had been five or 10 minutes later I think we would have been in real trouble. We’re just so thankful and feel extremely lucky. There are no words to describe how grateful we are to both Steve and Keith.”