Leeds teenager wins national award for saving brother’s life

A Leeds teenager who heroically saved the life of his brother, after he was impaled on the handlebar of his BMX bike, has won a national award for his bravery.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 6:00 am

Jack Smith, 14 at the time, knew exactly what to do when his brother Connor Osborne, then 13, suffered life-threatening injuries from the accident in Roundhay Park.

At first Jack thought his younger brother was fooling around, but soon realised the situation was serious when he saw him collapse, so pedalled down the hill on his own bike to help.

One end of the handlebar had impaled Connor's stomach, just missing his vital organs, but he had severed a femoral vein in his thigh, causing major blood loss.

Brothers Connor Osborne, left and Jack Smith, at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes award ceremony in London.

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He saw Connor was bleeding heavily from the stomach and groin and, having learned first aid at army cadets, ripped off his shirt and put pressure on the wound to stem the blood flow.

While on the phone to 999, he continued to apply pressure and reassure his brother until the ambulance came.

Jack, now 15, recalls the incident last July: “I was scared because I thought my brother was going to die, but I knew what to do because the cadets had taught me.”

Connor Osborne, who almost died after being impaled by his BMX handlebar

The brothers, from Gipton, who both attend army cadets, are pupils at Leeds East Academy.

Proud mum Emma Osborne, 36, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I am incredibly proud of both of them. It was awful last summer when I got that call saying Connor was hurt and bleeding. I rushed to Roundhay Park where the paramedics were treating him. It was such a shock.

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“The doctors at the hospital said he was lucky to be alive and if Jack hadn’t stemmed the bleeding he would certainly have died.”

Jack Smith, who has won a national award from the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes, for saving the life of his brother Connor Osborne

Now Jack has been honoured by the St John Ambulance, winning one of their prestigious Everyday Heroes Awards.

Jack was announced as a winner in the Young Hero category at a ceremony hosted by the health charity at the Hilton London Bankside.

Mum Emma added: “It was a wonderful surprise when they said Jack’s name. We had a great time in London and the lads had special permission to go out of school for the awards do.

“They are typical brothers and used to never get along but since the accident, it seems they have an unbreakable bond.”

L-R Sgt Cameron Tosh, of the Army Cadets, Connor Osborne, Jack Smith and Mum Emma Osborne.

Connor is on his way to a full recovery but was in hospital for five days and used a wheelchair for six weeks after the traumatic incident, having severed a femoral vein and sustained other serious injuries requiring surgery.

Now in its eighth year, the Everyday Heroes awards - sponsored by Zoll - honours individuals, volunteers and teams who step forward in their communities to help loved ones, colleagues, customers or even strangers in need with courage, bravery and first aid skills.

Everyday Heroes was hosted by Reverend Richard Coles, celebrity vicar and half of 80s’ band The Communards.

Richard said: “The young people commended tonight have really stood out and I believe the future of our communities is in good hands if they are anything to go by. I hope this story will inspire many others to volunteer, learn new skills and be confident to help when it really counts.”

Jack's quick thinking was also recognised by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson, who provided him with a Letter of Commendation at a ceremony at Bowcliffe Hall, Bramham.

Mum Emma Osborne, with sons Connor and Jack, at the Everyday Heroes Awards ceremony in London.

Do you know a young healthcare hero in Leeds who deserves recognition? Make your Yorkshire Evening Post Health Awards nomination before noon on October 18, 2019.