A MOTHER has expressed her gratitude after meeting the ambulance call handler who helped save her son's life.

Alice Peatling, from St Lawrence Bay, discovered son Jack, 19, unconscious in his room in June last year.

She put her head around the door and found him unresponsive and making an odd noise when he breathed.

She called 999 and was answered by East of England Ambulance Service call handler Leigh Johnson.

Leigh told Alice to get Jack on the floor and that help was on its way.

Alice said: “She asked me if I knew how to do CPR. I didn’t, but she talked me through it.

“She stayed with me the whole time. At one point there was yellow stuff coming out of Jack’s nose and I said ‘My son’s dead’, but Leigh wouldn’t let me get caught up in what I was feeling.

"She said, ‘Don’t think about that, stay with him’.”

An ambulance arrived and rushed Jack to hospital.

Alice said: “As the paramedics prepared to take Jack to hospital, they said that if I had not carried out CPR until they came, Jack would have been taken to the morgue instead.”

She was told that Jack's heart had stopped for an estimated 48 minutes and that she should prepare herself for the possibility that he might not live or could have severe brain damage.

He was put into an induced coma and was in intensive care for nine days.

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Jack made a full recovery and was discharged 12 days later.

He returned to his job as a care worker, specialising in people on the autistic spectrum, just two weeks after being discharged.

The cause of his heart attack remains unknown.

Alice and Jack were invited to Chelmsford Ambulance Operations Centre, where they got to meet the Leigh.

Alice said: “It was lovely to speak to Leigh, and very cathartic for me.

“I was also able to find out that after dealing with our call, Leigh was also supported and was able to get a break before going on to the next call, which I had worried about.”