Teen who collapsed at home had life saved by friend 5,000 miles away

A teenager who had his life saved by a woman 5,000 miles away has called the experience ‘surreal’.

Aidan Jackson, from Widnes, was gaming online when he began to have a seizure. He was alone in his room at the time, and although his mum was downstairs the only person with any indication of what was happening was Raven, a woman living 5,000 miles away in Texas who Aidan was gaming with.

The quick thinking of Raven, who searched online for the proper authorities to call after Aidan fell silent and began gasping, would save his life. Police arrived at Aidan’s home 40 minutes after the then 17-year-old first fell silent, surprising his mum who was still unaware of the situation.

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Two years later and Aidan, who is now 19, is working as a bartender in Widnes, but alongside his work he has been fundraising to provide life-saving defibrillators for his local community. He told the ECHO he is close to reaching his 25th defibrillator, which will also be his last as he hands the mantle to his mum who will continue the vital work.

Looking back on his near-death experience and the ensuing media attention, which included an appearance on American talk show the Tamron Hall show, where he met the girl who saved his life for the first time in front of a televised audience, Aidan said: “It’s surreal looking back on it now.

Aidan Jackson with his mum Caroline, when he was 17 - the year his life was saved by his friend who lived 5,000 miles away in Texas
Aidan Jackson with his mum Caroline, when he was 17 – the year his life was saved by his friend who lived 5,000 miles away in Texas

“It was such a sudden experience and within a month of it happening I’d been flown out to New York to meet the friend who saved me. It was a really emotional experience when I met Raven. We [Raven, Aiden and their mutual friend who lived in New York] were all planning to meet up on the day we got there anyway. But when we first arrived the show didn’t want us to meet until the next day.

“It was sort of disheartening because we’d made the plans weeks in advance and those two got to meet and have food in Times Square. I had to stay in the hotel. The next day I finally got to meet Dia, who goes by Raven now. It was such a big moment in my life, meeting these people I’d known for years online, and finally getting to meet them because of something like that.

“It was a big moment. Very emotional.” It really helped me appreciate everything. I guess that’s just how it is with experiences like that.”

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