Seventeen-year-old Thomas Ottewell shares a laugh with Jennifer

Police honour Saanich teen for saving man’s life

17-year-old’s CPR skills credited with reviving victim of heart attack

Jennifer Makinson doles out warm hugs and a stream of thank-yous to the Ottewell family. She stops in front of 17-year-old Thomas, a Claremont secondary student, looks in his eyes and thanks him for saving her husband’s life.

The teen played a key role in bringing David Makinson, 82, back to life on Jan. 30, after he suffered a minor heart attack while out for a walk on Cordova Bay Road with his wife.

Thomas, who works as a lifeguard at Panorama Recreation Centre, was passing by on his scooter at that very moment, and immediately stopped and ran to David’s aid.

“Thomas advised Jennifer that he was first aid trained and took over CPR. He calmly directed Jennifer to begin giving her husband breaths, while he began chest compressions,” said Saanich police Chief Mike Chadwick, recounting the incident to the Saanich police board on Tuesday.

Saanich police Const. Janis Carmena arrived soon after and helped Ottewell with the exhaustive procedure of chest compressions. The Saanich Fire Department arrived and used an automated external defibrillator (AED), which successfully revived David. He was taken to Royal Jubilee Hospital in stable condition.

According to an ambulance attendant, the elderly man had, in fact, died, and was saved by a combination of Ottewell’s CPR and the AED.

Thomas was awarded the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Recognition Citizen Award “for his courage to take action and his ability to remain composed and focused under intense stress,” Chadwick said.

The young Saanich resident was speechless upon receiving the recognition, but suggested that everyone get basic first-aid training. “Everyone should take a CPR course. They’re easy to take, it’s quite simple and you could save a life,” he said.

Thomas’ parents, Lee and Carole, say they’re extremely proud of him for stepping up. “He was there at the right time. Great result,” Lee said. “A lot of trained lifeguards that know how to do CPR have never actually done it, and he has, and it worked, and it saved a life.”

David remains in hospital, and Jennifer says he’s doing “quite well,” given that he had a heart attack. Thomas is looking forward to meeting David once he’s feeling better.



Just Posted

Latitude 48 Paddling Club races through Victoria waters

Local team clinched victory in Nanaimo to kick off season that will see them compete in Hawaii

Greater Victoria police busy with St. Patrick’s Day calls

Victoria police respond to 82 calls for service

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in Indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

Artists craft Souper Bowls in Cedar Hill studio

Souper Bowls of Hope supports urban youth

Royals gear up for WHL playoffs after suffering season-worst loss

Victoria has a solid 7-3 record this year against opening-round opponent Vancouver

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

World Cups soccer festival coming to Lochside Park

Victoria’s long running youth soccer festival, the Peninsula Co-op World Cups Soccer… Continue reading

LETTER: Lowered voting age would engage youth in political process

Saanich high school student supports giving a vote to 16-year-olds

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

Most Read