Saving Noah’s Life
St John Ambulance WA services Western Australia’s 2.5 million square kilometres – the largest area in the world covered by a single ambulance service. We have 29 metropolitan depots and 144 regional locations. In 2015/16 we responded to more than 62,000 regional ambulance cases.
Noah’s story is an example of the valuable services that St John provides in regional WA. It all started with a group of boisterous young boys celebrating a birthday.
In January 2017, 10 year old Noah was in the pool at his mate’s party in Redfield Park, approximately 100km north of Perth. Being prone to seizures, Noah and his friends were aware of seizure symptoms. Suddenly Noah recognised that something was wrong and cried out to his friend Harrison before collapsing in the water.
His fast thinking friend kept his head above water and Noah was dragged out of the pool by the parents hosting the birthday. Noah’s condition deteriorated rapidly and he fell unconscious and stopped breathing. Immediately the parents dialled triple zero (000) which connects to St John’s State Operations Centre, CPR was commenced and off duty St John volunteer ambulance officer Susy Wright was on the scene minutes later.
The Redfield community has a defibrillator located at their first aid post which is registered with St John’s Community First Responder program. The defibrillator was retrieved, applied to Noah’s chest and a shock was delivered. Relief followed when Noah’s pulse and breathing returned.
Noah was rushed by the St John Woodridge volunteer ambulance crew and they were met by St John Merriwa paramedics who took over Noah’s care and transport to Joondalup Health Campus. Noah went into cardiac arrest a second time at Joondalup and this time he was revived by doctors in the emergency department. Thankfully Noah has fully recovered from the incident and has since returned home.
St John Community First Responder manager Sally Simmonds said it was a combination of effective CPR and the use of the defibrillator on scene that was instrumental in saving Noah’s life.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the fact that effective CPR was started immediately following Noah’s collapse and the defibrillator was brought to the scene a few minutes later all contributed to this incredible outcome,” she said.