The son of former Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson saved his younger sister’s life by directing an ambulance to their remote French vineyard – using a bottle of WINE.
Max Willson, 16, sprang into action when Mini put her hand through a pane of glass and severed an artery while on holiday at their French holiday home.
With no adults around, he stemmed the bleeding and rang the emergency services – but could not remember the address or direct them to the remote rural property.
Then he remembered the cellar which is stocked with wine produced at the chateau – and rushed to grab a bottle so he could read the address off the label.
Paramedics were then able to find the estate and Mini was rushed to hospital, where she was treated and is now expected to make a full recovery.
Max, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, said: “I knew time was of the essence. You could bleed out with a wound like that.
“I put a red towel on a sign close to the house so they would know where to come to.
“At the end of the ordeal, I realised it’s pretty amazing what you can do under pressure.”
Max was on holiday with his sister and mum Michaela at the picturesque Chateau Gourgues near Saint-Emilion in the Bordeaux region of France in August last year when the accident happened.
Quentin was back in Britain working and their mother was out when Mini suffered her injury and Max heard her blood-curdling screams.
Unable to find a first aid kit, he improvised and used Duct tape, a place mat and a towel to dress the wound and stem the bleeding.
He then used a dog lead to hold it in place on her arm before searching Google to find out how to ring emergency services in France.
Through a translator, he told the authorities what happened before rushing down to the cellar to get a bottle of wine.
Max, who boards at #27,000-a-year Bredon School near Tewkesbury, Glos., partly credits the training he received through the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) for saving his sister’s life.
The CCF is a Ministry of Defence sponsored youth organisation which runs courses in schools.
Max’s school has now nominated him for a Combined Cadet Force Association (CCFA) award, which the CCFA will decide on at a later date.
Quentin, who works as a motoring journalist and appears on scores of TV and radio shows, said: “l’m enormously proud of him.
“For Max to cope like that on his own in a foreign country it makes his achievement even more impressive.
“Had he not acted so quickly, Mini might not be here now.”
He praised Bredon School for providing the cadet training that enabled Max to act as he did, and said it was doing a great job and he had written to the headmaster to tell him so.
Quentin said it was schools like Bredon that helped bring the best out of young people with special needs.
“We underestimate these kids with these syndromes,” he said. “It’s surprising. When they’re in the right educational environment, they can do stuff that the rest of us can’t.”
The journalist bought Chateau Gourgues in 2005 and spent four years restoring it to its original grandeur complete with towers and turrets.
Quentin and his wife try to visit every weekend, and the family spent eight weeks there over the summer.
The vineyard produces Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Ros?.
In 2008 Quetin’s rose won the Highly Commended award at the International Wine Challenge, and it is now stocked in local restaurants.
Leave a Reply