A young air cadet, Sergeant Luke Coleman, age 19, from 282 East Ham Squadron, proved that first aid training really does save lives, when he jumped into action as his grandfather suddenly began choking one evening.
During a family meal, Luke’s grandfather started to choke on some food and soon began to turn blue as he was unable to breathe. Despite being at the back of the table and in a difficult position to get out, Luke jumped into action and calmly took control of the situation. Luke successfully dislodged the food using the Heimlich Manoeuvre and then put his grandfather into the recovery position. He spoke to the emergency services and managed to keep his grandfather as calm as possible throughout the ordeal.
The 282 East Ham squadron try to make sure that all newly recruited cadets complete first aid training as soon as possible. The Jack Petchey Foundation have funded numerous first aid training sessions for the squadron, enabling more cadets to learn these vital skills.
Luke completed the training course when he first joined the squadron four years ago as well as a refresher course more recently when he was reassessed as an adult first aid instructor. Luke said “I’ve only ever used my first aid training for minor things, never something like this… When my grandad first started choking we thought he would just cough it up, but then he got up and his face and lips started to turn blue. That’s when I realised I would have to do something and started to give back blows and abdominal thrusts.”
Although it was a distressing situation for Luke, as his grandad is quite frail and he could hear that he was in pain whilst he was administering the first aid, he stayed calm and persevered until his grandad was able to breathe again.
His mum was very proud of Luke’s quick thinking and calmness in the situation, she said “I am first aid trained myself, but I was in no fit state to do anything, as it was my Dad choking. But Luke was fantastic. He was so calm and collected and he dealt with everything so well. He's my hero today. I am so very proud of him.”
She added, “Thank you for providing Luke with the opportunity to receive First Aid training. It really does save lives.”
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