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William hails 'astonishing courage' of medics stabbed on duty at Sun's awards

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PRINCE William tonight honoured two paramedic heroes at  The Sun's Who Cares Wins awards — marvelling at how they run towards danger when others would turn away.

Watched by a star-studded audience, including David Beckham and the PM, the Duke called Deena Evans and Mick Hipgrave "truly heroic".


Prince William handing the award to the deserving winners of the 999 Hero categoryCredit: Paul Edwards


Deena Evans and Mick Hipgrave won the 999 Hero awardCredit: Paul Tonge


Prince William hailed the two paramedics who put their life on the lineCredit: Getty

They almost died when they were stabbed by an assailant brandishing 8in knives on what they thought would be a regular 999 call.

William, who answered emergencies himself as an air ambulance pilot, told a captivated audience at The Sun awards that 999 responders "must face their deepest fears".

Deena and Mick, who thought they would bleed to death in the carnage, showed "the most astonishing level of courage to overcome obstacles in front of them".

Presenting the award after a chat with England legend Becks, Wills said: "Every day our emergency services deal with high-pressured, challenging situations.

"When most of us would, quite naturally, turn away and seek safety, our emergency responders rise to the occasion — running straight towards the danger to provide vital and often life-saving support.

"Very modestly, they will tell you that this does not make them heroes, and it is all done in the name of duty.

"But sometimes a situation will occur that tests the resolve of even the most experienced responder.

"In times like these, they must face their deepest fears and find the most astonishing level of courage to overcome the obstacles in front of them. And that is truly heroic.

"The winners of this award faced just such a situation, but I am delighted to say they survived and are here this evening."

The Duke of Cambridge introduced a video by Bear Grylls to "tell us their incredible story" before welcoming them on stage.

Tearful audience members, including Gary Lineker and Kate Garraway, stood to applaud.

Other heroes and their amazing stories will be revealed when the ceremony at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, North London, is shown on Channel 4 this Sunday.  

William told Mick and Deena: "It's very impressive, the way you're all here in spite of everything you've had to deal with. Thank goodness you've got each other."


Prince William descibed the horrifying attack, as a video of it played out behind himCredit: Simon Jones


The pair thanked the crowd after getting the award for their heroic actsCredit: Simon Jones

Mick, 52, fought back tears as he said: "This isn't a job for me, this is a way of life and I love working for the NHS."

Deena said: "They say the average person sees three traumas in their lifetime, while a paramedic sees 300.

"So this is for every paramedic that sees 300 traumas and has to deal with this."

One of the youngest nominees, up for the Young Hero award, was Lucas Palmer, eight, who dived into a freezing river to save brother Louis, four.

William told him: "It must have been very scary for you. You're a very, very brave boy."

Our prestigious awards — sponsored by The National Lottery — recognise medics, scientists and members of the public who show exceptional and selfless courage.

Boris Johnson met Phoebe Sinclair, nine, who received a prosthetic "Hero Arm" from award nominees Joel Gibbard MBE and Samantha Payne MBE — founders of Open Bionics.

He said: "Well done to The Sun. Fantastically well done to everyone, don't we all need this?"

Michael was stabbed in the back while on a 999 callout

Deena was stabbed once in the chest close to her heart

Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: "It was a tearful evening but also inspiring."

The heroic pair were attacked on a routine call out when they were called to the home of Martyn Smith, 53, who had not been seen by his mother for three days.

With cops accompanying them, the front door was removed when no one answered. Deena — who has three girls aged seven, 12 and 13 — said of the July 2020 call: "We had no reason to suspect anything untoward or dangerous.

"His mum was really very worried so we decided it was very important to force entry and make sure he was safe."  

But as Deena stepped inside, Smith jumped out from behind the kitchen door wielding two kitchen knives. She recalled: "One slashed the side of my chest and one went into my chest.

"At first, I didn't realise I'd been stabbed.  Shock and adrenaline took over and I thought he'd punched me."  


The Prince hailed the paramedics for their courage in the face of dangerCredit: Paul Edwards


The heroic pair were attacked on a routine call out and miraculously survivedCredit: Arthur Edwards / The Sun

Mick then threw himself in front of Deena, and was slashed across his back.

The dad of five, from Coalbrookdale, Shrops, said: "My natural instinct was to try and protect her. I jumped in front and tried to push her out of the way.  In doing so, he stabbed me in the back.

"I could see the stab wound and it looked very serious."

As police stormed the house, the pair staggered into the garden, where they collapsed on the grass.

Deena, who had a severed nerve and a punctured lung. said: "I remember seeing blood pouring out of me. I thought I was going to die.

"Mick kept saying he wouldn't let me die.  I remember grabbing one of officer and saying, 'Please don't let me die. I have three children'.

"I picked up my radio and pressed the control button so everybody could hear and was asking them to help Mick."  

Who Cares Wins awards

The Who Cares Wins awards honour those who have helped take care of the nation.

They were rushed to the trauma unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. When Deena came round, she feared Mick had died.

She said: "I couldn't see Mick and I began worrying that his ­injuries had been worse than mine and he'd died.

"They pulled the curtain back next to me and I could see him in the bed next to mine. Honestly, I've never been so relieved."

Deena had surgery to drain a blood clot from her chest. She said: "It was so painful. I remember grabbing the nurse and saying, 'I've had enough, I want to die. I can't take any more'. Because of the pandemic, I wasn't allowed visitors."  

When she was discharged, she waited a week before seeing her girls. She said: "I didn't want them to see the extent of the injury. I told them Mummy had been hurt at work and I'd be home soon.

"When I got home, it really hit home that I might never have seen them. I'm glad I was working with Mick that day. If he hadn't thrown himself in front of me, the next blow would have gone through my heart and I would've been dead."  

Mick needed stitches but the knife missed all his major organs.  


Despite their traumatic ordeal, Deena and Mick returned to the front line at the end of 2020.  

Deena said: "I was offered roles in the control room but I'm not trained to sit behind a computer. Why should I let anybody take that away from me?"

Mick said: "I kept thinking this man had ruined six months of my life already.  I wasn't going to let him ruin the rest of it."

Smith was jailed for nine years in July.

The West Midlands Ambulance pair were nominated for the 999 Hero award by their senior operations manager Richard Barratt, 38.  

He said of their screams for help over the radio that day: "In my 20 years as a paramedic, I've never heard anything as harrowing."


Prince William arriving for last night's eventCredit: Darren Fletcher


Boris Johnson chatting to Prince William after they both arrived for the ceremonyCredit: Paul Edwards

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Terrifying moment crazed knifeman stabs two paramedics on 999 callout leaving gaping wound inches from heart

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