A MAN who nearly died after choking on a piece of meat during a family meal has nominated his life-saving son for a special award.

Roger Newton, 65, was unable to breathe properly for around four minutes after a piece of ham became lodged in his throat.

It was only the intervention of son, Mike, 30, who managed to free the obstruction after taking advice over the phone from a 999 call handler, which saved him.

Roger, of Windermere Park, Bowness, has now nominated his son for a top life-saving award from the Royal Humane Society, which he will receive in January.

Roger, a retired personnel and training manager, was at the Lakeview restaurant, in Glebe Road, enjoying a carvery with his son, and then 10-month-old grandson, Ernest, and wife Jean.

Roger said: “It was my first piece of meat I choked on and I couldn’t breathe, which is a terrifying experience that you cannot understand until it has happ-ened to you. I couldn’t get air in, or out. It’s a terrible feeling and you think you can cough it out, but you can’t. It was pure panic.”

As his wife Jean distracted their young grandson, son Mike slapp-ed his father’s back, but to no avail, so quickly called 999 on his mobile.

Roger, who had sent plates flying and turned over drinks as he struggled to breathe, grasped for a glass of water to free the blockage.

But he said it was the worst thing he could have done as it pushed the piece of meat further down his throat.

Following advice from 999, his son tried abdominal thrusts by holding him from behind and pulling upwards sharply.

On the third go, he managed to dislodge the meat. Roger said: “The relief of being able to breathe again. People need to be aware how easily something like this can happen. I said in the award nomination that I’ll never be able to repay my son, and I won’t.”

Despite a broken rib, Roger suffered no after-affects and was also full of praise for Windermere First Responders, a voluntary team of first aiders, who arrived quickly and gave him oxygen.

His wife of 45 years, Jean, said: “I was a bit panicky at first. My son took over and I’m very proud of him, He was great. He kept calm and was talking to him. The staff were very good as well.”

Mike, of Lake Road, Bowness, who works at the Lake District National Park Authority, said he had done some first aid training ‘years ago,’ and still did not know how he remained so calm.

“He told me about the award and, while I’m taken aback and immensely grateful, I still think there’s no need.

“My reward is the fact that I can still talk to my dad and he’s still with us.”