When eight-year-old Landin Colson saw his dad fall to the floor, he jumped into action. And this young boy shocked everyone around him with what he did next. He immediately began carrying out CPR on his dad.
Colson seems to be a typical eight-year-old boy. He lives with his mother, Hope Hersey, his father and his siblings in Warner, New Hampshire. But little did he know that his bravery would be tested in the most tragic of circumstances.
Now, all children learn a variety of skills while studying at school, and Colson is no different. He attends the Simonds Elementary School in Warner and was in the fourth-grade at the time of his father’s collapse.
The incident took place on Saturday September 29, 2018, which was a day that no doubt began like any other. The Colson family were making the most of their weekend by playing outside together. However, things soon took a turn for the worse.
As any parent knows, you always have to keep one eye on your children. And you always have to be prepared to jump into action if needed. But in this case, Hersey noticed that something was awry with her children’s father instead.
Hersey was outside with her children and Colson’s father at the time. “I asked him if he was okay,” she told WMUR News in October 2018. “He said, ‘Yes,’ went over and he fell on the side of the shed. My kids ran over and he was unresponsive when I got to him.”
Hersey then sprang into action and did what any other person would do, namely ran off to ring the emergency services. Instead of just waiting there while his mother did this, though, Colson decided to step in and try to help himself.
As his father lay there unresponsive, Colson made the decision to do something that few people would have expected a boy of his age to know how to do. He carried out emergency CPR on his dad in an attempt to save him.
Speaking to WMUR News, Colson described how he was feeling at the time. “I’m like, ‘Dad, stay with me. I know it’s going to be OK. You’re just going to go to the hospital, and I know you’re going to be better someday,’” he said.
When faced with a stressful situation, even adults can freeze. And that’s what makes this young boy’s bravery even more amazing. Not only did he have the skills to perform CPR, but he also had the confidence to spring into action as soon as he was needed.
Colson’s ability to perform CPR and remain calm in order to handle a situation like this took his mother by surprise. “I have never seen this child as calm and cool and collected,” she said. “He was far more calm than I was.”
While Colson carried out this life-saving act, the emergency services were making their way to the scene. Once they came on the scene, Colson stepped aside and let the experts do their jobs. And despite his collapse, the prognosis for Colson’s dad was reportedly good.
Now, consider the fact that Colson’s mom was unable to perform CPR and instead called emergency services. It begs the question: where did this eight-year-old learn such an important skill? The answer is simple.
Colson learnt CPR where he learns the majority of his skills: at school. Staff at the Simonds Elementary School showed Colson and his classmates how to do it. “My nurse and my health and gym teacher taught us how to do it,” he explained.
Although Colson’s ability to perform CPR may have saved his father’s life, it isn’t a skill that’s learnt universally in New Hampshire. And Colson’s mother wants to change this. She believes that every student should have the chance to learn this invaluable procedure.
The eight-year-old hopes he can use his life-saving skills in his future career, too. Colson told the reporter that when he’s older, he would like to become a member of the emergency services himself, either as a doctor or a firefighter.
This isn’t the only time an incident like this has happened. Indeed, there are many examples of young children coming to the rescue of their parents. In March 2018, for example, firefighter Paul Rowlands was given CPR by his 13-year-old son, Joe. Paul had fallen unconscious after their kayak had capsized off the coast of Anglesey, Wales.
In another case, C.J. Saulsgiver saved his mother’s life when she had a heart attack in March 2013. The sixth-grader heard his mother call out for him when he arrived home from school. But by the time he reached her, she had fallen to the ground and was no longer breathing. He then dialed 911 and carried out CPR.
Saulsgiver had attended a CPR training course with his parents a few months earlier, so he knew exactly what to do. The boy, who is from Roy, Utah was given a firefighter badge by the city fire chief Jason Poulsen as a way to honor his bravery.
Colson, too, was thanked by his local police and fire department for stepping up and performing emergency CPR on his dad. And the eight-year-old gave an endearing reply when asked if he understood how brave his actions were. “Yeah,” he said. “I think I’m a hero.”