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Warrnambool teen’s quick thinking saves his brother’s life

June 20, 2024 | in News

A Warrnambool teenager who saved his brother’s life has been commended by Ambulance Victoria paramedics for his incredible response.

In April this year, 18-year-old Ryan Bellman suffered a cardiac arrest at home after a night out with friends.

His 16-year-old brother, Sam, heard “death-like” snoring from his brother’s room the next morning and sprang into action, calling Triple Zero (000) and starting CPR – a skill he’d recently learned at school.

Two young men standing on a boardwalk near the water.

Sam Bellman saved his brother Ryan Bellman’s life in April this year after he had a cardiac arrest.

Ambulance Victoria Warrnambool Team Leader Tara Boyce said Sam’s actions had made a life-saving difference for Ryan.

“When we arrived at the scene, we found Sam performing really good CPR on his brother,” Ms Boyce said.

“We know when a person in cardiac arrest receives CPR before paramedics arrive, their chance of surviving significantly improves.”

Ryan received six shocks from a defibrillator and was transported to hospital in a critical condition.

After having an internal defibrillator fitted, Ryan has gone on to make a full recovery.

Four people standing together near a beach with open waters behind them.

Paramedics Tara (left) and Caity (right) caught up with Ryan and Sam Bellman.

Paramedics and firefighters who assisted with the case were delighted to reunite with Ryan and his family, with the crews presenting Sam with a commendation.

“Everything lined up for Ryan that day – he wasn’t meant to die,” Ms Boyce said.

“The fact that it was a public holiday, so Sam was home and found him and that Sam knew how to do CPR gave Ryan best chance of surviving.

“Ryan’s story shows that cardiac arrest can happen to anyone no matter their age, and that by knowing CPR, anyone can save a life.”

Every day in Victoria, twenty people will suffer a cardiac arrest and only one in 10 survive.

Every minute counts in a cardiac arrest and when a patient receives CPR and a shock from an AED before paramedics arrive, their chance of survival more than doubles.

To learn more about these life-saving skills, visit

A group of paramedics standing together with two young men.

The brothers caught up with the emergency service workers who responded to the case.