(VANCOUVER, MAY 9, 2013) A mandatory First Aid course helped eleven-year-old Connor McCarthy save his mother’s life. The family were having dinner when McCarthy’s mother began to choke and could not breathe. McCarthy performed the proper First Aid techniques such as abdominal thrusts on his choking mother until she was able to breathe again.
The boy learned these life-saving skills in a Canadian Red Cross babysitting course he took only two weeks prior to the accident. The course is part of the school’s Outdoor and Experiential Education program, and teaches the students how to recognizing signs of breathing and circulation emergencies, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to call for help.
McCarthy recounted the experience at the award ceremony at his school on May 9th:
“Well, she just had a bite of her food, and her throat just closed up, and she threw her tray on the ground and ran to the front door,” McCarthy told the captivated audience. “It was out on the front steps that I did the Heimlich maneuver.”
The boy’s courage in the face of danger was recognized by the Red Cross, who presented him with the Red Cross First Aid & Water Safety Rescuer award. The award recognizes acts of humanity that use Red Cross training through programs like McCarthy’s babysitting safety program.
The young hero had some words of advice to his fellow classmates and any other child that may face emergency situations in the future:
“Don’t freak out, stay calm, and use the knowledge that you have.”
Red Cross First Aid Program Representative Dave Adamson said that McCarthy’s actions took great courage.
“We encourage everyone, regardless of age, to take a Red Cross First Aid Course,” Adamson said in a press release. “Empower yourself to know what to do. You could save the life of a loved one.”
This article was originally published on the BCIT News website.