accessibility & help

Huddersfield family get life saving lesson from Red Cross as 7 year old son diagnosed with serious heart condition

For immediate release  3 October 2011
For further information  Catherine Bates
Contact number  0115 850 5954

A family from Huddersfield recently received a special lesson in life-saving skills from the British Red Cross after their 7 years old son was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening heart condition.

The serious and rare condition, Ventricular Tachycardia, means that if Bradley Burhouse (7) exercises, is shocked, gets stressed or excited he faces the risk of cardiac arrest. Describing the condition Bradley’s mum, Toni Burhouse (34) said: “He’s got a normal heart beat, and then a separate heart beat, so even when he’s resting or asleep his heart’s doing double what it should.”

Bradley still has to wait another 10 weeks to undergo an investigative operation, so in the meantime his mum, Toni (34), dad, Simon (43), two older brothers Dalton (12) and Jack (14) and grandma Helen (54), wanted to learn first aid so they can be prepared in case Bradley needs their help.

Understanding the urgency of the request, Red Cross first aid co-ordinator in Leeds, Susan Flattery, organised a special private lesson for the family, held just one week after their initial enquiry at the Red Cross office in Armley Road, Leeds. They were taught by first aid trainer, John Pickett, using Everyday First Aid, the Red Cross’ simplest ever way of teaching life-saving skills, launched earlier this month.

The main goal of the two hour session was to teach the family Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), so that they would know what to do in those crucial few minutes before an ambulance arrives should Bradley suffer a cardiac arrest. They were also taught how to deal with other medical emergencies like burns or bleeding, giving them the confidence to act in any situation.

Toni recalls: “I would never forgive myself if something happened to Bradley and I hadn’t done something about trying to help. It’s been over 20 years since I last learnt any first aid so I didn’t feel that I would remember how to help him. Now I feel so much more confident, especially knowing that my two older boys, who are likely to be playing with him, also know what to do. I even feel that I could pass on some of the skills to our youngest daughter Maddison, who’s six, as they were so simple and easy to learn.”

Bradley’s grandma, Helen said: “I occasionally look after Bradley over night so learning first aid has given me peace of mind that even if the worst should happen I’ve made an effort to overcome that. It was great to be reassured that you’re unlikely to make things worse by giving first aid in an emergency and perhaps if more people were aware of that they’d be more likely to intervene.”

First aid co-ordinator for the Red Cross in Yorkshire, Susan Flattery said: “We are so glad that we were able to help the family learn first aid, it was clear from the session how close they are and how much they wanted to learn first aid.  Hopefully they will never have to use the skills but at least they know they will be prepared should the worst happen.

Of course any parent would always want to be there for their child in an emergency, but unfortunately not everyone is equipped with the basic skills or feels confident they know what to do. Everyday First Aid makes first aid less daunting and more accessible, giving people the opportunity to learn basic skills in their own time and in ways which are relevant to them.”

From October, two hour Everyday First Aid courses will be available at Red Cross offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, York and Northallerton. Sessions are just £15 and will run on Saturday mornings (10-12) and in the evening (7-9). People will be able to learn basic first aid skills and will walk away feeling more confident and able to help their friends and family in an emergency. To book simply call 0113 201 5250 or e-mail

The Red Cross have also recently launched a free online resource featuring videos, real-life scenarios, animations and downloadable content which is designed fit in with people’s busy lives and to be used at people’s own pace. It can be accessed online at


Notes to editors

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives. For further information please visit

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