Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Sisters save mum's life after horrific stairs fall at Swanscombe home thanks to Girl Guide first aid badge training


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

Sam and Kerrie Johnson used first aid skills they learned as Guides to help their injured mother Sharon, pictured with husband Chris
Sam and Kerrie Johnson used first aid skills they learned as Guides to help their injured mother Sharon, pictured with husband Chris

Sam and Kerrie Johnson used first aid skills they learned as Guides to help their injured mother Sharon, pictured with husband Chris

by Julia Roberts

Sisters Sam and Kerrie Johnson lived up to their Girl Guide motto of "be prepared" when their mother suffered a horrific fall down stairs at their home.

The girls ignored their own distress to put their first aid badge training into practice and save 40-year-old Sharon's life.

She suffered extensive facial injuries and had to be flown by air ambulance to King's College Hospital, in London, where she underwent more than six hours of surgery with more than 120 stitches.

Sam, 18, and 13-year-old Kerrie were told by paramedics their quick and clear-thinking almost certainly saved their mother's life.

Sam and Kerrie Johnson used first aid skills they learned as Guides to help their injured mother
Sam and Kerrie Johnson used first aid skills they learned as Guides to help their injured mother

Sam, who helps out at 1st Swanscombe Guides and Brownies, achieved her first aid badge when she was 15 but had been helping the Brownies to gain theirs just a couple of months before the accident.

"When I took my badge we were told that once the adrenaline kicks in you know what to do and don’t think about anything else," said Sam.

"I thought I would panic. But I was really calm and we just did the best we could for mum."

It was Kerrie who found Sharon at the bottom of the stairs at their home in Keary Road, Swanscombe. She had a blackout and can only recall being at the top.

The family believe her injuries, which included a broken nose, fractured eye socket and a dislocated thumb, were caused when she struck a heater at the bottom.

Kerrie, who was getting ready to go to Swan Valley School, remembered what they were taught at Guides – to use your voice in an emergency.

"She screamed, and when she screams she is like a wailing banshee," said father Chris, 49, who is also trained in first aid. "I got down the stairs and put Sharon into the recovery position."

Sam, who is training to be a hairdresser at North West Kent College in Gravesend, was also woken by the commotion and helped to care for her mother while they waited for paramedics.

They kept Sharon calm as she slipped in and out of consciousness and stopped her choking on the blood coming from her face.

Sam also moved a nearby mirror so her mum could not see her appalling injuries.

"She had a massive cut across her face from cheek to cheek and her nose was down to her chin," said Chris. "She lost two teeth and lots of blood was going in her mouth. She looked like something out of Predator. It was horrific."

Kerrie, who is still a member of 1st S wanscombe, was given the responsibility of looking out the medical crew, but she came into her own when they needed Sharon's personal details.

"she had a massive cut across her face from cheek to cheek and her nose was down to her chin..." – chris johnson

"She is a smart kid and one of those kids who thinks logically," added Chris. "When the paramedics were asking lots of questions I went to pieces.

"While doing the first aid, your mind and body go into autopilot and you know exactly what you are doing. But I couldn't even remember Sharon's name, date of birth, or anything. Kerrie said 'dad, shut up, you're babbling' and just took over."

Sharon spent four days in hospital after the accident in January. She is still recovering at home and may require further surgery if the scars do not heal.

Kerrie and Sam's bravery was recently highlighted during a cheque presentation by Northfleet and Ebbsfleet Lions to 1st Swanscombe. The girls told members about the impact Girlguiding had on their lives.

"We were told by the paramedics if the three of us weren’t there that day, Sharon would be dead," said Chris. "We are very proud of the girls and are so grateful that four years ago Sam inquired about joining the Guides.

"Thanks to the Guides, the girls were taught first aid but, honestly and truly, you never think you are going to need these skills.

"This proves it is a very good thing to know."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More