It was a peaceful day in Gloucester. Richard was working out in his home gym. His daughter Scarlett and her friend were hanging out in the living room.
But when Richard became unresponsive and stopped breathing, Scarlett used the first aid skills her dad had taught her to save his life.
“I complained to Scarlett about feeling ill. She offered to fetch me a glass of water so I went upstairs to lie down,” Richard said.
“When she returned, I’d collapsed on the bed and I wasn’t breathing. She said my face had turned blue.”
Luckily, Richard and his wife are both paramedics. They knew the importance of first aid and taught Scarlett how to do chest compressions when she was young.
“Scarlett began by moving me off the bed and tilting my head back to clear my airway.
“After looking, listening and feeling for breath, she called 999. An operator helped her by counting out a rhythm for her to perform chest compressions.
“I was rushed to a hospital in Bristol where I lay in a coma for the next six days. It was terrifying for the family.
“But I woke up six days later and I was up and about in a matter of weeks. It was a pretty impressive recovery.
“Words can’t describe how proud I am of Scarlett. It’s one thing to learn these skills and another to put them into action. She’s grown into a truly remarkable person.”
Now all children in England will have the chance to learn first aid
Most people consider first aid a vital life skill.
But recently, the British Red Cross asked school children across England how they would help someone who had become unresponsive or stopped breathing.*
Almost a quarter of children had experienced a situation where someone needed first aid, but most felt helpless to act. We want to change that.
After ten years of campaigning from the British Red Cross and other organisations, school children across England will learn lifesaving skills as part of the school curriculum.
Nine out of ten children agreed that learning first aid skills would make them feel more confident to help in an emergency. We believe these skills will empower young people and help to create a new generation of lifesavers.
A separate study by the British Red Cross found that up to 59 per cent of deaths from injuries could be prevented if first aid had been given before the medical services arrived.
That’s why it’s never too early to teach children first aid skills.
As Richard said, “If my daughter hadn’t learned first aid, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s a vital life skill and everyone should learn it.”
How to help someone who is unresponsive and not breathing
- Check breathing by tilting their head back and looking and feeling for breaths.
- Call 999 as soon as possible.
- Give chest compressions: push firmly downwards in the middle of the chest and then release. Continue to push this way at a regular rate until help arrives
Want to learn more first aid?
- Download the British Red Cross first aid app today
- Watch: first aid for someone who is unresponsive and not breathing
- First aid on the curriculum: Stephen and Hanna used the first aid skills they learned at school to save lives
- Find out more: more than half of deaths could be prevented with first aid before medical services arrive
*The research was carried out by ResearchBods in August 2019.