Teenager displayed great courage to help heart attack victim

29 November 2019
16-year-old Megan Larmour was having breakfast at a café in Mandurah one morning when her first aid skills were called into action for an emergency unfolding nearby.

“We had just ordered our food and there was this lady outside – I could see she was on the phone and she looked a bit frazzled and upset. Then five or ten minutes later she came back in and asked if anyone knew first aid because there was a man in the carpark that had collapsed,” says Megan. 

The woman was a staff member from a nearby business who had noticed the unconscious victim and phoned emergency services. Megan immediately responded to assist. “Being trained as a lifeguard I knew first aid, so I got up and ran down to the carpark and approached the man – he was on the floor, completely unconscious.” 

After assessing the man’s condition and not detecting a pulse or breathing, Megan commenced CPR on the victim – “I did DRSABCD, found out that he wasn’t breathing and started compressions.” The staff member left the phone with Megan to communicate with the ambulance operators while going to retrieve a defibrillator. Megan then cut the man’s clothing and applied the defibrillator, shocking him twice while continuing to perform compressions with the help of another bystander.

The man was taken to hospital where he was revived and placed into an induced coma. Sadly, after 48 hours, he was declared brain dead and his family made the decision to turn off his life support. However, the prompt application of CPR and the defibrillator meant that his family got the chance to say goodbye. It also ensured that his organs remained viable; they were donated and will go on to save the lives of others.

Megan LarmourAt just 16 years old, Megan responded with great courage in a very difficult situation, taking the lead in attempting to save a man’s life. For her courage, quick thinking and admirable persistence, Megan was awarded a Gold Medallion Bravery Award. She remains humble about the accolade, saying “I just thought; this is what my job is, this is what I’ve been trained to do – so it just kind of kicked in.”

Megan’s mother, Samantha, is extremely proud of her daughter and reiterates that having the training behind her helped Megan to know what to do in that situation. “The training that she’s been given through being a lifeguard by Royal Life Saving…is so good and so thorough and I think because they always keep up to date with it she didn’t really have time to think, she just went straight into what she had been taught,” says Samantha. “I think for her age she handled it with huge maturity. She was very calm, and I don’t think she could have handled it any better at the time.”

Megan says CPR or first aid training is “so important, not just in jobs like mine but I think it should be a legal requirement at all jobs to have some kind of first aid training. I was just out at breakfast and nobody knew how to do any type of first aid, so I think it is very important to know first aid. I would 100% encourage people to do it, even just the little things you can get from it – like how to put a bandage on properly – whether it’s something like that or like something I did, it’s going to benefit you in some way.”

If you haven’t yet completed first aid or CPR training, learn more about enrolling in a course at the link below.
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