As Wales' leading first aid charity, we understand that knowing what to do to help in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death.
No one understands this more than Rhian Gowen from Bedlinog whose son, ten-year-old Carwyn, started choking during the family’s evening meal. Rhian's daughter, seven-year-old Lowri, had learned first aid as part of her Badger Sett in Bedlinog just months before the incident, and lept into action.
Here's their story:
It was an ordinary meal time at the family's home. Rhian had made the pair spaghetti and was tidying up when disaster struck.
“Lowri shouted my name and I noticed Carwyn’s face was turning purple.
I’m usually a calm person but I initially panicked before running over to help her.”
Rhian Gowen (31)
Lowri had started giving her brother back slaps, one of the first treatments to help someone who is choking.
“It was so scary, what felt like minutes was probably only seconds as we tried so hard to help him.”
Thankfully, the pair dislodged the blockage and Carwyn began to breathe again normally.
“Lowri is our little superhero. I don’t think she even realised what she had done. I was stunned, and a little overwhelmed but she was so calm and went straight back to finish her meal. It’s a bit surreal when I think about it now.”
Lowri had learned first aid in early 2020 as part of our Badger programme which her brother Carwyn also attends.
Rhian, a psychology student at university, said:
“I’m just so proud of her. It was so important to me that my children learn first aid and now I’m so glad they did. I can’t even imagine what would have happened had Lowri not stepped in when she did.
I can't thank her Badger leaders enough for everything they've done to give Lowri and Carwyn their new skills.”
Our vision is for people to get the first aid they need anytime, anywhere. Our Badger and Cadet programmes give children and young people the skills they need to save a life but also the confidence to step in and help.
“Everyone is fine now, and we had a very uneventful summer school holidays, just a few cuts and bruises. Carwyn now avoids spaghetti if he can, but all in all, it’s nothing in comparison to what could have been.
I’m just so glad Lowri had the confidence to step in and help. If she hadn’t Carwyn may not be with us today.”
Each year, our Save a Life September campaign teaches thousands of people in Wales the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Our free, two-hour first aid awareness sessions cover lifesaving skills including how to help someone who is choking, recovery position and how to give CPR so more lives like Carwyn's can be saved.
More information about Save a Life September including how to book onto a training session in your area can be found here.