A DIABETIC schoolboy who collapsed in the street was saved by two passing health workers who stuffed Milky Bar Buttons into his cheeks.

Fourteen-year-old Robert Youlton was lying on the pavement in Chester-le-Street town centre after his blood sugars became dangerously low at lunchtime on Friday.

Chester-le-Street Advertiser: FRIENDS: Morgan Leather, left, and James Watson, right, have been praised for supporting Robert Youlton when he became ill in Chester-le-Street town centre.

FRIENDS: Morgan Leather, left, and James Watson, right, have been praised for supporting Robert Youlton when he became ill in Chester-le-Street town centre.

But, fortunately for him, an off-duty paramedic and a paediatric nurse, Amy Kirton and Lisa Gerrett, out shopping with their young sons in pushchairs, were passing and had only just bought the sweet white chocolate treats.

Robert’s friends told the crowd gathered around him he was a diabetic and the pair sprang into action.

Mrs Gerrett, 37, a paediatric nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “When we got there he was unconscious and was starting to fit.

“People were panicking, but Amy assessed him really quickly.

“We knew he was diabetic and Amy said ‘right get some sugar’ so the first thing we thought of was the Milky Bar Buttons we had in the pushchair.

“He was unconscious so he could not swallow them. Normally you would use dextrose gel or Lucozade, but we knew they would just dissolve in his mouth if we put them in his cheek just to get his sugars up. The cheek just absorbs it.

“He could have quite easily have gone in to a diabetic coma.”

Mrs Kirton, 28, from Consett, who has been paramedic for three years, said one of Robert’s friends told her he was a diabetic and a nurse, who had also stopped, found a blood sugar testing kit in his bag.

Mrs Kirton said: “We had the Milky Bar Buttons we had just bought for the kids so I put a few of them between his gums and his cheek and rubbed it in so it melted.

“I asked for someone to go into Boots to get some glucose tablets and someone else was on the phone to the ambulance.

“I asked them to say there was a paramedic on the scene and to ask for a Red Two, which would mean there was an eight minute response.”

The ambulance arrived and Robert was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham.

Robert’s mother, Caroline Youlton, a sonographer at Sunderland Royal Hospital, who lives in Chester-le-Street, said her son is a type one diabetic and had some glucose in his pocket but had not taken it.

She said: “He is fine now. I really appreciate all of the help that was given to him. It is lovely to know that people will stop and help.”

Robert’s friends, James Watson and Morgan Leather, have also been praised for the way they helped look after him and a special assembly was held at Park View School, where all three boys are pupils, on Monday morning.

Headteacher Iain Veitch said: “I am very proud of the sense of responsibility which James and Morgan showed when responding to a difficult situation.”