On 18 March 2008 I went home after work. Getting a lift with my sister who is working in Paarden Eiland I have to wait until 17h30 for her to pick me up.
As we were driving home, we passed an accident where two vehicles were involved. I told my sister to stop as it is my duty as a first aider to see if there is any help needed. She told me it is not neccessary as the fire brigade and an ambulance are there to assist. She drove on.
Coming into our little town, crossing a four way stop and about 200m from the crossing I saw a bakkie hit a little child. We immediately stopped, I jumped out of the car and ran over the street to the child. He was lying so still and crawled up. I felt his heartbeat which at that stage was still very strong. I called to one of the people to call for an ambulance and if anybody knew the child. But nobody recognized him.
I felt his heartbeat again
Then the little boy shivered twice, I felt his heartbeat again which at this point was very shallow, I took my uniform jacket off and closed him up to keep him warm. I then asked one of the bystanders to just keep the people to the back (by now it was a crowd already). I recognized a lady that was working for me previously and asked her to get me a warm blanket somewhere.
When she returned I closed the little boy up, waited another ten minutes for the ambulance to arrive. About 25 minutes after the accident happened, the ambulance did not arrive.
I needed to make a decision
I looked at the boy and I needed to make a decision. I either wait for the ambulance and let this boy bleed himself to death (he had a deep arm and head open wounds) or I take the responsibility on me and take him to hospital myself.
I picked him up with the blanket, my sister and the gentleman who called for the ambulance, cleared the road, stopped the cars for me to carry the child across to our vehicle. I got in the back of the car, and we then went to the hospital where I called upon the doctors and nurses.
His name is Wendell
Later that evening he was transferred to Red Cross Children’s hospital with multiple wounds externally as well as internal wounds. He was released out of hospital only two weeks afterwards. He is well now, without any broken bones. His internal injuries were his liver and spleen that got hurt during the accident.
His name is Wendell and he is only 3 years old.
I just want to thank my boss who gave me the opportunity of doing my first aid training – basics. This allowed me to save another person’s life.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell my story.
Story submitted to SAinfo on 8 April 2008