Leeds: Lifesaver brother is honoured after kitchen table drama

A young Leeds lifesaver who sprang into action to save his sister after she collapsed at the kitchen table has been honoured.

Lee Howe, 17, has been recognised as one of the county's most inspirational young people after his quick-thinking saved the life of younger sister Jennifer when she fell victim to a deadly brain bug.

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Lee and his mum Diane watched in horror last September when Jennifer, 15, collapsed as the family enjoyed an evening meal at their home in Cottingley, Leeds.

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Staying cool under pressure, St John's Ambulance volunteer Lee placed his little sister in the recovery position and instructed his mum to phone an ambulance while Jennifer suffered a seizure.

Tending to his sister until paramedics arrived, Lee, along with his mum, then faced an anxious two-week wait to see if she would recover.

Thankfully, after battling encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain, Jennifer is now back at home and can't praise Lee enough.

She told the YEP: "I don't remember anything that happened but when I got home, Lee told me everything.

"He saved my life and I can't thank him enough. He's my hero."


At an awards ceremony at the Magna centre in Rotherham, attended by an audience of city mayors, police and fire chiefs, Lee was named West Yorkshire's VocaLink Young Person of the Year as his sister looked on.

He won 1,000, presented by Bonita Norris, who became the youngest British woman to climb Mount Everest at the age of 22 earlier this year.

Lee told the YEP: "My training with St John's really helped a lot. I was really happy to get the award because St John's don't always get the recognition for what they do and it was my teacher at Bruntcliffe

Sixth Form, in Morley, who nominated me, which is where I took the first aid course."

Proud mum Diane said: "Because he'd done first aid, he knew exactly

what to do, I wouldn't have known myself.

"You never think you'll need help like that. He was marvellous and he would do the same for anyone."

Lee spends much of his spare time providing first aid at concerts, sporting events and anywhere with organised crowds.

He is giving 500 of his prize to Meningitis UK for research and 500 towards driving lessons.

Other local award winners included Jon Gardham, 25, who has breathed new life into the Pudsey Squadron of the Air Training Corp, and Kyle Maroney,17, from Middleton, who raised money the run a holiday sports scheme.

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