What we do
Ā mātau mahi
- Recent stories
- The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force: It’s time to join the right side of history
- Tropical Cyclone Yasa: In pictures
- Extensive destruction reported as Cyclone Yasa slams into Fiji
- Our 20 best photos of 2020
- Keeping the spirit of giving all year round
- See all stories
Shop with us
Nau mai, hoko atu
- Get involved Donate
With her sights now firmly fixed on a career in medicine, Eleesha shares her own personal account of saving her grandmother, Erica Samarawira’s life.
“It was a normal day. I was in the living room watching TV. Nothing unusual, well, that’s what I thought. “Suddenly, out of nowhere I heard someone shout my name.
“My reflexes kicked in and I immediately stood up. I sprinted to the kitchen where I saw my grandma braced against the table, not making a squeak. My mother told me that she had choked on some of her lunch. Mum didn’t know what to do but I did.
"I had known what to do when Lou from Red Cross had come to school and shown everyone exactly what to do in this kind of situation.
“I asked my grandma if she was choking and she gave me a slight nod. Once I was sure that she was choking I bent her down and hammered her on her back between the shoulder blades. I stood her up and gave her five chest thrusts and repeated this three times until the food shot out.
“During all of this mayhem I thought to myself ‘What if I can’t do it?’ ‘What if I do it wrong?’ ‘Will everyone blame it on me?’
“Once that piece of food came out a huge weight came off my shoulders. It took me a while to process everything, it had happened so fast.
“When my grandma recovered she hugged and squeezed the air out of me.
“That whole experience made me realise that all this first aid stuff isn’t a gimmick. It actually works and save lives as well.
“I used to want to be a vet but now I’ve decided that I’d like to help children so I’m going to be a paediatrician.”
Get first aid advice at your fingertips by downloading our free first aid app.
The app provides information on everyday first aid scenarios, tips on how to prepare for disasters and instructions on what to do during an emergency. Information, videos and interactive quizzes are preloaded to the app, ensuring instant access to lifesaving information even without cell phone reception or an internet connection.