When Becky Fry’s 93-year-old grandmother suddenly started to choke and turn blue, her horrified family were stuck to the spot – but first aider Becky knew exactly what to do.
The emergency occurred during a quiet family lunch in Somerset with relatives. Becky (26) recalled: “My granny started to cough and excused herself from the table. My cousin went with her to make sure she was okay but the rest of us stayed at the table because we didn’t want to crowd her.
“Suddenly my cousin shouted for help, saying granny couldn’t breathe, so I rushed in. Not only had her lips gone blue but her face had turned purple and her eyes were bloodshot. She was making alarming rasping noises and clutching at her throat. It was very scary!”
Despite the pressure, Becky stayed calm. She said: “I told my cousin to ring an ambulance and slapped my granny hard on the back several times. My cousin was actually on the phone to the emergency services when an enormous piece of half-chewed sausage shot out of my granny’s mouth.”
Catastrophe averted, Becky’s grandmother slowly started breathing normally again and had a few sips of water. The ambulance was called off, but NHS Direct rang back within the hour to check everything was okay.
First aid training
Becky – a Red Cross community fundraiser had only renewed her first aid skills a couple of weeks earlier, but had no idea her training would be put into practice so soon or so close to home. The emergency really underlined for her how important it is for people to learn first aid.
Understandably, all the family members were pretty shaken up by the shocking episode, but granny herself is made of sterner stuff. Becky said: “After things calmed down, my granny promptly fell fast asleep in front of the fire for about two hours. When she woke up, she was a bit groggy but still managed to eat her pudding.”