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Shrewsbury murder: Woman is honoured for brave first aid at scene

By Lucy Todman | Meole Brace | Crime | Published:

The brave actions of a Shrewsbury woman which meant that a 16-year-old who had been stabbed in the heart was able to spend his final days with his family at his hospital bedside have been recognised.

Rachel Lawson has been honoured for fighting to save the life of Michael Warham who had been stabbed in the street outside her home during a brawl between two rival gangs.

The 35-year-old has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate – one of the country’s top life-saving honours.

Thanks to the life and death battle fought by Rachel outside her home in Wayford Close, Meole Brace, Michael lived for more than two days and his family were able to say their goodbyes at his bedside.

Rachel was instructed on how to administer cardiac pulmonary resuscitation over a phone wedged between her shoulder and ear as she fought, covered in blood, in the dark and rain.

Police at the murder scene. Inset: Killer Declan Graves.

Michael was stabbed in the chest and heart by 19-year-old Declan Graves at around 9.30pm on August 1 last year following a violent clash between two groups of youths.

Rachel called 999 and was asked by the operator if there was anyone present who could administer CPR. When she approached a group of bystanders no one came forward, so she asked the operator for instructions and then administered it herself.

When the ambulance arrived she remained on the scene to help the ambulance crew collect items they needed from the ambulance.

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In addition to the award, she has also won the personal praise of Andrew Chapman, secretary of the Royal Humane Society.

Speaking at the society’s London headquarters, he said: “This was a tragic incident in which a teenager died after a violent clash.

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“But Rachel fought a courageous battle to save him. She had not been trained in CPR techniques but in appalling conditions took instructions over the phone and managed to keep him alive until the ambulance crew arrived to take over.

“Thanks to her efforts he did not die on the spot but survived long enough for his family to spend the last days of his life by his bedside with him. Rachel richly deserves the award she is to receive. It was a harrowing experience but she coped magnificently.”

In September, a jury at Stafford Crown Court found Graves guilty of murder and he was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than 200 years. It is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.

Since it was set up in 1774, the society has made over 200,000 awards.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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