First Aid For You trains Moorebank’s life saving siblings

Life savers: Moorebank siblings George, Eli and Marcel knew exactly what to do when their mother had an asthma attack, after completing a first aid course with First Aid For You director Mary Dawes. Picture: Anna Warr.
Life savers: Moorebank siblings George, Eli and Marcel knew exactly what to do when their mother had an asthma attack, after completing a first aid course with First Aid For You director Mary Dawes. Picture: Anna Warr.

A call to Triple 0 was all it took to save a mother’s life, but would your child be confident enough to pick up the phone?

Earlier this year Eli, George and Marcel were home with their mother Cherie in Moorebank, while their father was out.

The night started off ordinarily enough until Cherie, who has been suffering from a chest infection, started having an asthma attack. 

Within moments she was unconscious on the floor struggling to breath. That is when her eldest son, 12-year-old Eli, jumped into action.

Eli, recalling his First Aid For You training, called Triple 0 and asked for an ambulance. While on the phone, he told his younger brother George, 10, to stay with their mother and administer her puffer, and sister Marcel, 8, to call their father on the mobile phone.

Eli knew what he had to tell the operator and that he needed to stay on the phone with them until the ambulance arrived.

An inhaler and spacer which is used during an asthma attack.

An inhaler and spacer which is used during an asthma attack.

“It was very scary,” he told the Champion. 

“But I knew straight away that I should call for an ambulance.”

Cherie said was she aware of what was happening around her but unable to move or communicate.

“Mary’s ‘How to be a superhero’ form which she gives out during her course, was filled out and sitting on the fridge and Eli retrieved that. It is basically a cue card for calling an ambulance so they know what will be asked from them,” she said.

“I never knew in my wildest dreams that getting that course just in case, would ever be used on me.

“I will always be proud of them for what they did.”

Training: Brothers George and Eli demonstrate how to correctly administer an inhaler, with sister Marcel and First Aid For You director Mary Dawes. Picture: Anna Warr.

Training: Brothers George and Eli demonstrate how to correctly administer an inhaler, with sister Marcel and First Aid For You director Mary Dawes. Picture: Anna Warr.

Cherie said enrolling your children into a specialise course, like those offered at First Aid For You, was essential.

“I’m a registered nurse so I know how it important it is for them to learn this and in the worst case scenario children need to know and be confident to ask for help," she said.

“It’s one thing to teach your children how to do CPR or know how to pull somebody out of the pool, but to actually have it in a course appropriate for their age group and knowing how to practically apply these skills is essential.

“They still have their mother because of Mary.”

First Aid For You has educated more than 4,500 children in first aid basics, since commencing in mid 2015.

Its director, Mary Dawes, said First Aid For You offers a variety of courses and play groups for children five to 12 years of age and also provides information for parents.

“I am proud that they remembered what they learnt and for me that is the best thing ever,” she said.

“It wasn’t a boring course, they enjoyed it because it’s hands on practical and relevant.”