Teenager praised for saving pal’s life

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A teenager was being hailed as a hero this week after stepping in to save her best friend’s life as she began to choke.

Quick thinking Jaymee Meakin, 14, was eating lunch with pal Bethany Anthony at school when Bethany began to choke on a piece of bread.

Jaymee, who is a volunteer with the Ripley and Heanor St John Ambulance Unit lept into action and slapped Bethany, also 14 on the back and managed to dislodge the bread.

Jaymee has been praised this week by St John chiefs, who said her actions proved how important it was to have basic first aid skills.

The friends are pupils together at Derby’s Lees Brook Community School.

Jaymee knew straight away her friend was in trouble, she said, because of her first aid training .

She learnt her first aid skills after recently becoming a St John Ambulance Cadet – and immediately knew what she had to do to clear the obstruction in Bethany’s airway.

Jaymee said: “One minute Bethany was laughing, then she just coughed and didn’t stop coughing.

“I looked at her face and it was very red and starting to turn purple. So I gave her one big back blow and it came out.

“Choking was one of the first things I learnt when I joined St John Ambulance Cadets so I remembered it straight away.

“It all happened so quickly, but afterwards I felt pleased and proud that I was able to help Bethany. I decided to join St John Ambulance because I hope to be able to go into a medical career; I am so glad that I did!’

Bethany, from Chaddesden, added: “I was really struggling to breathe and I felt like I was going to faint.

“It was an experience I have never felt before. I don’t like to think what could have happened if Jaymee hadn’t known what to do.

“After the bread came out I took a massive gasp of breath, and gave Jaymee a big hug. I am so glad that she was there to help me.”

Jaymee’s mum Sarah said: “I am proud of my daughter and how she reacted; it’s thanks to St John Ambulance that she knew what to do in that situation. I’m glad she is learning life saving skills.”