first aid

10-year old N.S. body rescues sister after learning first aid at school

Garrett Williams awkwardly responds when questioned about the incident involving his younger sister Shanna. It was the 10-year old boy’s fast thinking and good memory that saved the life of his 6-year old sister.

The first aid training that Garrett learned at school 2 years ago allowed him to help Shanna after choking on a Lifesaver candy.

Choking hazards

According to Garrett, he did not think that he was going to use the Heimlich maneuver which is a vital component in any first aid course. The incident occurred March 23 while their grandparents were driving the siblings home from school.

According to the mother, Carla Williams, Shanna was sucking on a Lifesaver and talking at the same time. It was abrupt, and she began to choke, coughing and attempting to get it up. Shanna’s lips started to turn blue at that time. Shanna’s grandfather was trying desperately to save the girl by pounding on her chest.

Choking first aid
Choking injuries and suffocation are responsible for dozens of deaths and hospitalizations yearly in Canada.

After seeing the failed attempts of his grandfather, Garrett stepped in and did it properly. He used the technique called abdominal thrust or Heimlich Maneuver.

Garrett learned the technique at school in Frank H. Macdonald elementary school.

Importance of first aid training: High-risk for choking

Choking injuries and suffocation are responsible for dozens of deaths and hospitalizations yearly in Canada. Most cases involve children of Shanna’s age or younger who choke on toys, balloons or food. Sadly, first aid training is largely optional in Canadian schools.

Shanna soon recovered after the incident and the parents have since put a household ban on Lifesavers.

For more information about this story, click here.


Learn how to help by enrolling in a first aid course and for more information, check out these sources:


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