Instinct, first-aid skills save stepfather

Dominique BayensGeraldton Guardian

Sixteen-year-old Ben Darcy-Evans says he will never forget the day he had to perform lifesaving CPR on his stepfather Ted Morgan.

It was early in the morning on November 19 when Ben was woken by his mother, standing at his bedroom door, shaking and covered in blood.

She told him his stepfather had fallen over in the bathroom.

“I just ran straight to the phone, called triple-0 and said ‘I need an ambulance’,” he said.

Neither Ben nor his mother had realised his stepfather had suffered a heart attack.

“I was still talking on the phone and I finally walk over there, check his pulse and check if he’s breathing … nothing,” he said.

The first aid training Ben had learnt during swimming lessons as a child kicked in and he immediately started compressions.

“I started freaking out, my hair’s all in my face sort of thing, my heart’s pumping, I’m shaking, Mum’s just crying,” he said.

“Then I started breaking the ribs … the smells, the odours, the sights, everything is all embedded in my brain and I’ll never forget it until the day I die.”

Ben said he experienced a “raw rush of emotions” at the time , and looking back, it was difficult to comprehend what had happened.

“Having someone’s life in your hands, it’s something you just can’t explain to someone else,” he said.

Ben was awarded a certificate, a first aid kit and a free first aid course by St John Ambulance for his efforts.

Attending ambulance paramedic Karl Ng said if Ben hadn’t carried out CPR, Mr Morgan probably wouldn’t have survived.

“We walked in and thought Ben seemed very calm, collected and in control,” he said.

“It’s really rare to see a young adult actually jumping in and doing CPR.”

Ben said it was important to learn first aid to avoid living with regret. “You can’t walk away and say, ‘If I did this he’d still be here’,” he said.

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