When 12-year-old Annalise Vella found her father collapsed and covered in blood she remained calm and let her first-aid training come to the fore.
It saved her father’s life.
Rodney Vella was working on a car in the shed at the family home in September when he was injured.
“I was using a five-inch grinder, which was in my right hand,” he said. “It slipped across the left and cut my wrist through the tendons and the main artery.
“I passed out for about 90 minutes, bleeding to death on the shed floor.
“I woke up cold and shivering, saw the cut and immediately put a rag over it. I lost about two and a half litres of blood.”
Mr Vella said he managed to stagger out of the shed and towards the house.
He reached the pergola and collapsed again. It was then Annalise sprang into action.
“Annalise was on the phone to her mum at the time and saw me. So she immediately hung up and called an ambulance,” Mr Vella said.
“She was so calm throughout the entire thing. She put me into the recovery position and spoke incredibly clearly to the operator.
“She saved my life.”
As if fate had played a hand, Annalise had undertaken a first-aid course at Mackellar Primary School in Delahey two weeks before the accident. Mr Vella said his story proved the worth of such courses.
“Annalise put all her training into play,” he said. “If she wasn’t home, I wouldn’t be here to tell the story.
“Her knowledge saved my life and I think stories like mine are a good case to make first-aid courses compulsory in schools.”
Four weeks after the accident, Mr Vella is on his way to recovery, but he says there are a few hurdles ahead.
“My progress is on schedule at the moment, which is great,” he said.
“I’ll probably only get 70 per cent movement back in my hand, but 70 per cent is better than not being here at all.”