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Boy, 9, saves little brother’s life after he stops breathing while parents rush him to hospital
Bev Jordan, Hills Shire Times
March 28, 2016 2:02pm
WHEN his five-year-old brother Ben stopped breathing, Zachary Redwood calmly performed lifesaving CPR..
Earlier this month, the Baulkham Hills boy celebrated his ninth birthday with his little brother and extremely proud and grateful parents by his side.
Zach learnt CPR last year at a first-aid training course run by long-time St John volunteers and his scout leaders at 2nd Baulkham Hills Scout Group, Jennie and Taylor Page.
Three-year-old Ben with his big brother Zach, 9.
The boys’ father Julian said Ben ate a Snickers bar at a birthday party, then vomited up the peanuts. About 30 minutes later he had trouble breathing.
“We thought he might be having an asthma attack but he did not respond to treatment,” Mr Redwood said.
“At this point we realised this was now an emergency situation and decided to rush Ben to hospital.”
Mum Jenny drove Zach and Ben in her car while Mr Redwood followed in another car.
“During the trip to the hospital Ben stopped breathing, his lips turned blue, eyes rolled into the back of his head and he lost consciousness,” said Mr Redwood. “My wife was distraught.”
Ben and Zach at their Baulkham Hills home.
Mrs Redwood pulled over to the side of the road and Zach calmly put his first-aid lesson into practice, performing CPR on Ben as he had been taught to do.
“I just took my seatbelt off and I just breathed into him,” Zach said.
Mr Redwood said: “After a few minutes some colour returned to Ben’s face and lips and he regained consciousness.”
When the family arrived at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead, they were told they were lucky Zach had known how to perform CPR.
“I felt really helpless and scared,” Mrs Redwood said.
“Just knowing what to do is so important.”
Zach (right) learned CPR at a first aid course at the 2nd Baulkham Hills Scout Group.
Ms Page said she couldn’t think of the story without getting emotional.
“I am so proud of (Zach),” she said.
“I feel children are never too young to learn CPR.
“Even if they can’t do it themselves because of their size, there is always a chance they can instruct an adult should the need arise.”
Julian Redwood with his sons Ben and Zac.
What to Do
■ Check for danger
■ Check if the affected person is conscious
■ If not, call 000
■ If yes, make the person comfortable
■ If unconscious, open the mouth, clear the airway
■ Check breathing
■ Start CPR if not breathing — 30 compressions, two breaths, then repeat
■ Place in recovery position when conscious
Zach (right) used the first-aid skills he learnt at Scouts to save his brother Ben’s life.
Jennie Page, a St John Ambulance superintendent and 2nd Baulkham Hills Scout Leader, said learning CPR should be compulsory in schools.
She has been running annual workshops for her cubs and scouts with the help of her daughter Taylor and other St John cadets for 10 years.
“I firmly believe that all school-age children should be taught first aid, including CPR.
“You can never be too young to know how to save a life,” she told the Times.
“Even if they can’t do it themselves because of their size there is always a chance they can instruct an adult should the need arise.
“We have had three reports of children saving lives in the past 18 months,” Mrs Page said.
She said she wished all primary schools took up the free St John Ambulance First Aid in Schools program. Last year, more than 20,400 students took part in the program.
There are two programs available. One is aimed at years 3 and 4 students and the other is for students in years 5 and 6.
Up to 40 St John volunteers deliver the program across NSW.
For details, call 9745 8740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.