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Mother’s quick thinking helped save her child’s life

October 3, 2023 | in Community News, Shocktober 2023

A regular school morning nearly ended in tragedy for a Pakenham primary-schooler after she suffered a cardiac arrest in August this year.

Eight-year-old Lucy Hallam is lucky to be alive thanks to the quick actions of her mother Sarah who immediately started Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) when Lucy’s heart suddenly stopped.

“Lucy was having seizure-like movements and then became unresponsive and wasn’t breathing,” Sarah said.

Sarah had undergone first-aid training as part of her job – never thinking she would be required to put it to use.

Sarah performed CPR on Lucy until Ambulance Victoria (AV) paramedics and Fire Rescue Victoria firefighters arrived at their home.

Paramedic Bethany Birkett, who responded to the case, said Sarah’s actions were crucial in Lucy’s survival.

“Anyone can save a life, you just have to be willing to start CPR if someone nearby needs help,” Bethany said.

“Sarah is a big part of the reason why Lucy is here with us today.”

Lucy was taken to Monash Children’s Hospital and has since made a full recovery.

She had a simple message for the paramedics and firefighters who came to her aid.

“Thank you for saving my life.”

With four out of five cardiac arrests happening at home, AV Medical Director Associate Professor David Anderson said Lucy’s case highlights the importance of knowing CPR.

“We urge every Victorian to learn or refresh their skills,” he said.

“Our message is simple – you don’t need to be a paramedic to save a life, just remember to Call (Triple Zero 000), Push (Perform CPR) and Shock (use an AED).”

Lucy and her family recently reunited recently with the paramedics and firefighters who helped saved her life as part of Ambulance Victoria’s Shocktober campaign.

Now in its fourth year, Shocktober calls on Victorians to learn CPR, register as GoodSAM Responders and to know where their closest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is located. 

Shocktober is a month-long campaign to highlight the importance of learning CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).