10-year-old saves stepfather with first aid

A ten-year-old girl has saved her stepdad’s life, thanks to first aid training from St John Ambulance

10-year-old Bethany with mum and stepdad, whose life she saved with first aid

Bethany Simpson, a pupil at St Columb Major Academy, Cornwall, bravely stepped in when her stepfather Robert Hoskins (41) stopped breathing, on March 15. She delivered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until an ambulance crew arrived.

Bethany’s mother Jane and Robert were watching TV in bed when both of them had fallen asleep, but Jane woke up and noticed Robert's breathing had become shallow, erratic and laboured, like he was in pain.

Jane quickly realised he was unresponsive, called 999 and followed the operator's advice, including moving him onto his side to try and make him more comfortable.

But, when Robert stopped breathing completely and the operator told her to give CPR, Jane completely froze.

‘I panicked and said “I can’t do it”,’ said Jane, who suffers from panic attacks.

‘Fortunately, Bethany heard me scream, came into the bedroom and said “It’s ok, mum, I know what to do”. She was so confident and took charge.’

Bethany gave the chest compressions that kept Robert alive.

Robert, who is now recovering at home said: 'I would just like to sincerely thank St John Ambulance for teaching the children first aid. If it wasn't for them and Bethany, I wouldn't be here.'

The ten-year-old says she doesn’t believe she is a hero.

‘I’m just glad my dad is still here,’ she added.

Following the terrifying incident, Robert and Bethany's mum, Jane Simpson (40), believe the Government should make teaching first aid compulsory in all schools and are backing St John Ambulance’s Big First Aid Lesson.

On June Friday 12 2015, Strictly Come Dancing’s Claudia Winkleman will be hosting the charity’s Big First Aid Lesson with the aim of equipping 50,000 young people with the skills to act in an emergency.

‘This incident just shows why it’s important to teach everyone first aid – especially in schools,’ said Jane.


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