Rossendale Free Press
Hero Jess saves dad’s life
AHEROIC teenager performed life-saving CPR on her father after he stopped breathing on Christmas morning.
Jessica Hough, from Bacup, rushed to her dad Christopher’s aid after his breathing stopped in the early hours of Christmas Day.
The Whitworth High School pupil administered chest compressions - to the tune of ‘Nelly the Elephant’ - after remembering a class she had on CPR in primary school.
Christopher, 51, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is unable to talk or walk, was rushed to hospital with sepsis where he is currently in a stable and comfortable condition.
Mum Phillipa realised something was wrong when she went to give Christopher his pain medication at around 2am.
She noticed Christopher’s breathing wasn’t right and then suddenly it stopped altogether.
Phillipa immediately phoned for an ambulance to come to their house on Ramsey Avenue, while Jessica started CPR.
Jessica, 14, said: “We tried to wake him up and he wouldn’t wake up so we phoned the ambulance, and they told us to put him on the floor because he wasn’t breathing right - and then he stopped breathing.
“Then they said you’re going to need to do CPR.” She says, despite the panicked situation, she was able to remember the lesson from primary school.
“They taught us how to do it and they used a couple of different songs,” she said.
“They did ‘Nelly the Elephant’ and ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and they were just in my head when I was doing it, and I just zoned out and concentrated on doing it.
“Finally just before we got told the ambulance was here my dad coughed and gasped and started breathing again. It was scary but I just did what I needed to do. I’d do anything for my dad.”
Jessica’s dream is to become a paramedic, and she hopes to volunteer with the St John Ambulance.
Her dad Christopher was diagnosed with MS in 2005 and before having to quit his job due to the illness he worked as a joiner in Ramsbottom.
Phillipa says she was amazed at her daughter’s life-saving actions.
“She was just so cool and calm,” Phillipa said.
“I was just so amazed that she wasn’t flustered or anything. If anything I was, but she just got in there and did it and saved his life.
“I’m very proud of her.” Phillipa also says the event made for a different Christmas Day and that she has been left frustrated at not being able to visit Christopher in hospital due to Covid restrictions, relying on daily phone calls for information.
“It was very weird not being with him on Christmas, as we couldn’t go and visit him,” she said.
“He’s already quite poorly with MS so for him to pull through with her help would be amazing.
“So it just shows teaching the little ones CPR works.”