Mansfield man named local hero for saving toddler’s life

Phil Gray from Mansfield who won the local hero award at Idlewells Shopping Centre in Sutton. He is pictured with fiance, Stephanie Coles

Phil Gray from Mansfield who won the local hero award at Idlewells Shopping Centre in Sutton. He is pictured with fiance, Stephanie Coles

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A Mansfield man has been named as a ‘local hero’ for saving the life of a two-year-old.

Phil Gray, 36, of Welbeck Street, was voted Idlewells Shopping Centre and The Chad’s Local Hero for saving the life of the toddler.

He came to the rescue of the youngster, who was the child of a neighbour, who was found choking on a gob-stopper by his father earlier this year.

Phil said: “I was walking down the road one day when he saw my son’s friend and sister in a bit of a panic on a mobile phone.

“I asked if they needed help and was told their little brother is choking in the house.

“The child had a gob-stopper lodged at the back of his throat – and his face was bloody where his father had been trying to remove it.”

“It seemed to take forever getting the gob-stopper out – but I knew I had to do it – his dad was standing at the side of me, distraught.”

The paramedics arrived shortly after and confirmed that Phil had saved the child’s life.

Phil had been trained in first aid but says that he has never had to use it before.

Christiana’s father went to visit Phil the same evening to let him know his son had recovered from the incident, with just a sore throat.

Phil was given a £300 reward after a panel made up of Idlewells management, independent retailers and Chad’s Ashley Booker decided he should get it.

His partner Stephanie Coles, who works as a security guard at Idlewells, secretly nominated him for the reward.

Phil added: “It was great to get the reward, but I wasn’t looking for recognition for what I did. I feel a little bit embarrassed.”

Idlewells Shopping Centre is looking for the next ‘Local Hero’.

Nominations are invited for anybody who goes the extra mile, including everyday acts of heroism, generosity or simple kindness.

For more information, visit www.idlewells.co.uk.