When a woman suffered an epileptic seizure on a packed train, one brave teenager proved that being a wheelchair-user is no barrier to providing effective first aid.
Seventeen-year-old Kayleigh, who uses a wheelchair, was on a crowded commuter train recently when a fellow passenger suddenly fell to the floor and began convulsing.
She recalled: “The lady collapsed and started having an epileptic seizure right in front of me. The train was packed, but absolutely everyone else on the train just stared and left her on the floor.”
Luckily, Kayleigh is made of sterner stuff. And she also happens to be a trained first aider, thanks to a partnership between the British Red Cross and disabled children’s charity, Whizz-Kidz. And that meant she knew the following steps:
1. Do not restrain the casualty, but use a blanket or clothing to protect their head from injury.
2. Restraining them may cause injury to you or them. Let the seizure run its normal course.
3. After the seizure, help the person to rest on their side with their head tilted back. This will make sure they keep breathing.
Kayleigh, from Wiltshire, added: “I jumped out of my chair and helped the woman – luckily, the seizure only lasted a couple of minutes and no medic was needed. Later, I helped her off the train and made sure she reached her husband safely.
Once she’d recovered, the woman told Kayleigh that her support and constant reassurance had really helped her through the ordeal.
Looking back, the brave teenager said: “I'm so lucky to have been able to help her. It looks like my first aid training has definitely paid off already.”