11-year-old St John Ambulance Badger saves dad's life

 Maria and John Rowe

An 11-year-old St John Ambulance volunteer from Cornwall has put her first aid training into action by saving her dad’s life.

Maria Rowe used cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help her dad John start breathing after he collapsed at their home in Redruth on 18 June.

The Trewirgie School pupil has learnt first aid and other important life skills as a member of the Redruth Badger Sett for the last four years.

Quick thinking Maria put first aid knowledge into action

Maria called 999 and told the call taker that she was a St John Ambulance Badger and was guided through performing CPR. On the third cycle of resuscitation, John started to breathe again and an ambulance crew arrived and took over treatment.

Doctors have since confirmed that John suffered a heart attack. He is now recovering at the Royal Cornwall Hospital following Maria’s heroic actions.

Importance of learning life saving skills

Her mum Saras said: ‘What Maria did was absolutely amazing. She was calm and took control as I didn’t know what to do. We are so proud of what she did and will be forever thankful that Maria had been taught first aid.’

Dave Christophers, Deputy Commissioner (Youth) for St John Ambulance in Cornwall, said: ‘We are delighted that Maria put everything she had learnt into action – she was calm during what must have been a harrowing experience and delivered CPR with the advice and encouragement of the emergency call operator.

‘I don’t think she realises the importance of what she has done and calmly went to school the next morning as if nothing had happened.

‘This incident highlights the importance of first aid – it really can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.’