Learning first aid skills with St John Ambulance Cymru helped Cassie save her six-year-old son’s life. Gifting a donation to the charity this Christmas will help to make a lifesaving impact on more families and communities across the country.
On the 15th June 2022, Cassie and her family’s lives changed forever. Cassie saved her son’s life following a serious road accident, using the vital first aid skills she had learnt volunteering with St John Ambulance Cymru.
Cassie was taking her children to visit their grandmother when the accident took place. Her son Charlie was just six years old at the time, and her daughter Evangeline was fifteen. Cassie had joined St John Ambulance Cymru as a volunteer due to Evangeline’s enthusiasm for the Badger and Cadet programmes growing up, and the pair loved socialising and learning new skills with fellow volunteers.
On the day of the accident, Evangeline was accompanied by her friend and fellow Cadet Cadence. Cassie, Evangeline and Cadence had varied levels of first aid training between them, with Cassie completing more senior training courses, including a Catastrophic Haemorrhage training session just a week prior to the accident.
When Charlie was hurt, Cassie, Evangeline and Cadence showed unimaginable bravery. Cassie used the skills she had learnt at her most recent training session to save her little boy’s life, applying a tourniquet and instructing her daughter to call an ambulance.
An air ambulance transported Cassie and Charlie to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, where a team of doctors and surgeons were waiting for him. Charlie had been through a serious trauma and underwent extensive surgery in hospital. Cassie recalled, “One doctor had been informed by more than one person that evening that Charlie’s own family were the reason he was still alive.
“Because of our actions, Charlie had made it this far and the doctor believed that because we had remained calm, had treated the injuries and continually reassured Charlie, we had instilled in him a strong will to survive.”
Charlie’s road to recovery has been gruelling, but despite the trauma he has faced at such a young age, today he smiles, laughs and plays. “He is my superhero,” Cassie said. With the help of orthopaedic shoes, a walking frame, or his crutches, Charlie has learnt to adapt to his new body and the way in which it works.
“I find it hard to put into words just how much first aid and St John Ambulance Cymru means to me” Cassie added. “They are the difference between life and death.”
“My training meant that I had the skills to deliver first aid, the confidence to assess the situation and ultimately save my son’s life.”
“I will never be able to thank each and every one of my trainers and fellow volunteers over the three years prior to the accident enough, because together, they gave me a confidence I didn’t have before, an enthusiasm and passion for learning and an overwhelming desire to help others in their time of need.”
First aid training saves lives. With the public’s generous donations, St John Ambulance Cymru can continue to train people in these invaluable skills, support their committed volunteers and run their incredible youth programmes for young people, making Wales a safer place for all.
To support the first aid charity for Wales this Christmas, please visit https://www.sjacymru.org.uk/christmas-appeal.