Retail worker awarded for saving baby from choking

27 January 2022

In February 2021, Georgia Day was on her regular shift in the fruit and vegetable department at Woolworths Ellenbrook when she found herself helping in a first aid emergency.

Georgia noticed a customer’s baby had started choking, and that the boy’s mother was visibly upset as her six-week-old son was struggling to breathe. The colour in his face had started to change and Georgia immediately assisted in first aid, helping to remove the obstruction from the baby’s throat and encouraging the mother to seek further medical attention.

Aged just 17 at the time, Georgia had completed first aid training only the week before – something she had decided to do of her own accord. The incident also came at an already challenging time for the store’s staff and local customers, with Perth in the middle of a COVID-19 lockdown and the store having to close for two days prior due to bushfires nearby.

Despite the heightened stress of the preceding days, Georgia was able to remain calm during the incident. “I’m relieved I could be in the right place at the right time and my first aid training was still fresh in my mind, especially for such a frightful moment for our customer,” she said. “It was a lot of mixed emotions at the time. Scared and frightened mostly, but luckily instinct kicked in and allowed me to remain calm and collected.”

Georgia Day with WA Governor Kim Beazley and RLSSWA President Colin HassellGeorgia was awarded a Gold Star Bravery Award at the 2021 Royal Life Saving WA Bravery Awards for her swift actions in saving the young baby. Showing maturity beyond her years, Georgia is to be commended for her ability to maintain her composure during a stressful situation and for putting her training into action to potentially save a child’s life.

“It was quite overwhelming to receive this award as you don’t do something like that for the accolades, you do it because it’s an emergency situation,” she said. “It’s such an important award and it is something very special to me – I’m still speechless.”

Woolworths Ellenbrook Store Manager John Coggon, who nominated Georgia for the award, was impressed by his young staff member’s bravery and quick response during the incident. “Georgia’s swift intervention assisted in the baby’s survival and recovery,” he said. “The customer frequently visits the store and checks in to see Georgia whilst she is at work. Her son is fully recovered and his health is good.”

If you know someone who has responded to save someone’s life you can nominate them for a Royal Life Saving Bravery Award at the link below and ensure they receive the recognition they deserve!

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