A SWIM at a 10th birthday party last year turned into a lifesaving experience for friends Harrison Jory and Noah Lekias.
The boys had been at a friend’s party in Gabbadah in January 2017 when Noah collapsed in the swimming pool and his quick-thinking friend pulled him to safety.
Noah was prone to seizures, so Harrison was aware of the symptoms and knew to keep an eye out for them.
“Usually when I think he is going to have a seizure, I try talking to him,” Harrison said.
“If he doesn’t respond, I start going to him.
“When he fainted, I quickly swam over to him and I picked him up and tried to get him out of the water.”
Harrison received a St John Ambulance 2017 Community Hero Award today for his role in saving Noah, and party hosts Jodi and Garth Plant were also recognised in the nomination.
When Harrison called for help, Mrs Plant came and pulled Noah out of the water while her husband called their neighbour Susan Wright, who was an ambulance volunteer.
“He rang Susy then we noticed that Noah was going a little bit grey,” she said.
“We started CPR and compressions.
“Susy had called another local guy to get the defibrillator from the first aid post – he was there really quickly with it.
“The ambulance from Woodridge got there really quickly.”
Mrs Plant said Noah was transferred from the volunteer ambulance to one from Merriwa with paramedics on Indian Ocean Drive, which took him to Joondalup Health Campus.
There, he had a couple more cardiac arrests and was put into an induced coma.
“It was really fortunate for Noah that it turned out well for him,” Mrs Plant said.
“I had only done my first aid course six months prior. I did it never thinking I was going to need it.
“Having to use it six months down the track was lifesaving.”
Mrs Plant said having the defibrillator nearby had been vital to Noah’s survival and she encouraged all clubs to get one.
One year on, Noah said he was feeling fine and had been diagnosed with long QT syndrome, a genetic condition that causes fast or irregular heartbeats, fainting or seizures.
Thanks to tablets, he has not had any more seizures though he takes it easy when it comes to sports or swimming carnivals.
“I like playing football, cricket and tee-ball,” the Two Rocks Primary School head boy said.
His mother Fiona said the family was glad Noah was on the right medication now.
The Carabooda resident said they were thankful for the doctors and nurses at Princess Margaret Hospital who continued to help with his condition so that he could “have a normal and healthy life”.
Harrison’s mother Dale said she was proud of her son and grateful Noah had been correctly diagnosed so now they could enjoy being together without worrying about seizures.
“It’s happened so many times in front of Harrison,” she said.
“I feel relieved now because Noah is on the right medication – Harrison is now enjoying spending time with Noah.”
The 11-year-olds have been friends since they were in kindergarten together, and Harrison had seen his friend collapse four times.
“At school he has had a seizure – I saved him from falling on the basketball court,” he said.
The Yanchep Beach Primary School student said he learnt first aid with Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club.