Shoalwater heroes save life of 91-year-old woman

Trini Reynolds of Swanbourne and Tazia Lemon of Shoalwater.
Trini Reynolds of Swanbourne and Tazia Lemon of Shoalwater.

“JUST running on adrenaline,” is how two young women have described the moment they saved an elderly woman’s life in Shoalwater.

Trini Reynolds of Swanbourne and Tazia Lemon of Shoalwater both work for Rockingham Wild Encounters.

On February 28, they were confronted with an elderly lady who had stopped breathing and needed immediate CPR.

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The woman was part of a bus tour headed for a visit to Shoalwater Marine Park when, upon arrival the driver Brad Willox came running into the Shoalwater Visitors Centre requesting a defibrillator.

One of his passengers had been having trouble breathing and other passengers reported the left side of her face appeared droopy.

Trini and Tazia grabbed the defibrillator and ran to bus while the an ambulance was called.

But the ambulance call centre operator said to keep the lady on her back and monitor her breathing.

“We were just running on adrenaline the whole time,” said Trini.

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“We followed the driver out to the bus and the lady was just sitting there, chin down and the left side of her face was droopy – we thought it was a stroke.”

Tazia helped the driver get the lady off the bus and laid her down on the footpath.

“I was about to put her in the recovery position when the ambulance call centre operator told us to keep her on her back and monitor her breathing,” Tazia said.

They obliged until the lady stopped breathing.

“The operator told me to start CPR,” Trini said.

“I started decompressions but heard a crack – the operator told me to keep going then by the 11th compression there was another crack and she kind of grabbed my arms but then she stopped breathing again.

“After 30 compressions she was back and breathing normally.”

The operator told us to put her in the recovery position.

“I just sort of got up and took a step back and went into shock,” Trini said.

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“I was just processing what had just happened then the ambulance arrived.

“It felt like about 40 minutes before they arrived but they were quite quick – it took them seven minutes to get there.

“It was amazing, really crazy

“The paramedics said to us ‘you guys saved her life’.”

“It was amazing especially to have saved a 91-year-old.

“We went and visited her at Rockingham Hospital and took flowers and a card.

“She was good – a little sore maybe but good.

“She is one tough cookie.

“Yeah we were pretty stoked that she is ok, but it is emotionally draining.

“It still hasn’t really sunk in.”

Tazia said the pair had received a lot of first aid training as part of their job.

“We expected it would be for someone in the water, not right here on land,” she said.

“The training just kicked in and we just did it – like on autopilot almost.”

RWE Manager Chad DeSousa said he was proud of his employees.

“I arrived to base just after the lady had regained consciousness and spoke with Trini, Tazia, Brad and one of the ambulance attendants before the lady was taken away,” he said.

“I monitored Trini and Tazia as they were both shaken but they settled down over the next 30 minutes.

“I offered for both of them to take the rest of the day off but both wanted to continue on.

“I thanked them both for doing an amazing job and told them that counselling would be made available for them by the company if they felt the need over the coming weeks.”