South Morang boy Julian Ketteridge was recently named Victoria’s youngest community hero after saving his grandmother during a trip to Scienceworks in May.
Julian, who was four at the time, had been spending the day with his grandmother, Jenelle, and baby sister Zoe.
As they were leaving Scienceworks and Jenelle was putting the kids in the car, she suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the ground, hitting her head.
Julian jumped from the car and tried to wake her before calling out for help.
His cries alerted Sunshine couple Lachlann Carter and Jenna Williams, who were bundling their own two children into their car.
Earlier in the day, Lachlann’s son had been playing with Julian, virtually racing against Cathy Freeman.
Lachlann sprinted over to perform CPR as Jenna called triple-0 and shielded Julian from what was unfolding.
“I bolted across the carpark about 50 metres and just started CPR,” Lachlann said.
“It was a deserted windswept carpark. I was screaming out for help and I was also singing at the top of my lungs, Stayin’ Alive, because I remembered from the first aid training.”
Scienceworks staff arrived with a defibrillator and administered a shock before firefighters and paramedics arrived.
Jenelle regained a pulse and started breathing.
She was rushed to hospital where she remained for five days.
“I feel very privileged and very lucky someone was there that day and someone nearby could do CPR and there was a defibrillator,” Jenelle said last week.
Julian’s recollection from the day starts with enjoying the virtual reality race against CathyFreeman.
“When I got in the car, ’Nelle fell over, then I got out of my seatbelt and called out for help,” he said.
“Lachlann came and they said, ‘wake up, wake up’.
Julian said he felt “happy” to be called a community hero.
Mum Amy said she didn’t have words to describe how proud she was.
“As a parent, I don’t think it could get any better than that,” she said.
“We’re just so thankful that the chain of events happened the way they did.”
The trio was among 11 Victorians last week honoured in the AmbulanceVictoria Community Heroes Awards for brave and selfless intervention to save the life of a stranger, neighbour, family member or friend.
Ambulance Victoria chief executive Tony Walker said he hoped the awards would inspire others in the community.
“Knowing first aid, downloading the GoodSAM app if you are first aid qualified, learning CPR and teaching children how and when to call triple-0 are simple things that everyone can do, but can make the world of difference in an emergency,” he said.