A ST John Ambulance cadet who helped her grandfather when he fell and badly injured himself was given a Royal reception after scooping a prestigious award.
Hartlepool teenager Charlotte Gleeson used the invaluable skills she learned with the first aid charity to help her 81-year-old grandfather Leslie Lindridge after he tripped and hurt his hands, knees and face while on his way to the shops.
Retired boilersmith and fabricator Mr Lindridge was helped home by a passing van driver and the pensioner then rang Charlotte, 16, who rushed round to her grandfather’s house, in the Elwick Road area of town.
She cleaned him up and checked for broken bones, and a doctor who saw Mr Lindridge the next day said Charlotte’s actions prevented infection setting in.
Charlotte, of Osborne Road, said: “I was first on the scene and cleaned and dressed his wounds.
“His right knee was badly bruised and he had a scabby and bloody nose.
“Although it was a member of the family that was hurt, I’m used to helping people, you just go on auto-pilot really.
“I think my granddad is amazing.”
The former High Tunstall College of Science student also tried to give her father Stephen Pattinson cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when he suffered a heart attack in February last year.
Sadly Stephen lost his fight for life aged just 48.
Charlotte has just returned from a reception with HRH Princess Anne, Commandant in Chief (Youth) of St John Ambulance, at Buckingham Palace after the youngster completed the Grand Prior Award, the highest honour a St John Ambulance cadet can achieve.
Charlotte, who is due to start at Hartlepool Sixth Form College in September and eventually hopes to train as a nurse, said: “I was shocked when I received the award.
“It was amazing to meet the Princess Royal.
“I shook her hand and she asked me questions about using first aid in practical work, and I told her about my dad.”
Mr Lindridge, a father-of-two, grandfather-of-two and great-grandfather-of-five, whose wife June died in November 2009 aged 75, said: “I think she’s amazing.
“I’m so proud of her, especially for getting the award.”
The award marks five years of hard work studying 24 different subjects including first aid, communication and working in the community.
Charlotte’s mum Marion, a 49-year-old Asda worker, said: “She has done brilliantly and if she hadn’t helped her granddad, infection could have set in.”
Charlotte joined North Yorkshire/Teesside St John Ambulance five years ago and currently holds the rank of sergeant.
It was her own injury that led her to join the service as she suffered a broken leg in a skiing accident.
As a cadet she has helped out at various public events, including last week’s Rift House funday and Tuesday’s game between Hartlepool United and Sunderland at Victoria Park.