Donna Stewart from Silver Link Clinics

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How Skills Shop’s First Aid Training Helped Donna Save Her Son From Choking
Donna Stewart - silver Link Clinics

My name is Donna Stewart and I work for Silverlink Clinics, a private weight loss clinic where I undertook the Skills Shop First Aid training in December 2018.

The reason why I went through the first aid training course with Skills Shop is because it’s our company policy that all staff are first aid trained and we had just taken on some new recruits and needed to get them trained up. This was also an opportunity for me to undertake the first aid training with Skills Shop as I last did my first aid probably 6 or 7 years ago and needed to renew it.

In addition, before I did the course with Skills Shop, I only remembered a little of my training, probably the recovery position, but the rest was very sketchy and I had never done first aid on children. Now things are very different after my Skills Shop first aid training!

Firstly, what I liked most about the Skills Shop training was how relaxed the training was. I’m definitely more confident, knowledgeable and much more motivated about first aid issues.

Secondly, I’m obviously so grateful after what then happened…

You see, we just assumed that all training providers covered children first aid on their courses and didn’t see at the time why this was relevant. However, by the end of the course we realised that we have families coming through our door and it wasn’t necessarily about just helping staff.

Then soon after my training, my 3½ year old son was sitting on the floor in the living room with myself and my 9-year daughter as she was building a toy. This was unusual as normally my son would be sat in the dining room. He was sitting quietly for a change eating some sliced apple when all of a sudden, he made a weird noise. 

I looked at him and saw the panic on his face. As he got up and came towards me, I asked him to cough. He was choking and as I was on the floor cross-legged, I raised one leg up so I could lay him over my leg with his head right down near the floor. It was probably my motherly instincts but for the first couple of black slaps nothing happened and then I remembered from my training how hard you had to do it.

At this point my daughter had ran into the kitchen terrified and I had shouted to my partner that our son was choking. He came running down the stairs and was shocked to see how calm I was.

After a couple of more hits, my son wrenched up a bit of apple. But he was still coughing weirdly so I did a few more and the rest came out. He then turned to me and gave me the most amazing cuddle and said: “Was I sick again mummy?  Did I have a tummy bug?”.

Afterwards I suppose I went into shock and denial as I couldn’t believe this had just happened. My son coughed for a while afterwards and I thought that I should I take him to hospital to be checked over but then remembered from my Skills Shop training you only need to do this when you do tummy thrusts.

I still think back and wonder what if we hadn’t been sat together and he had been in the dining room, would I have heard him if the radio or TV was on? However, I’m so very grateful that I did the first aid course with Skills Shop and had been trained professionally to deal with my son choking.                                                                                                  

By the way, my son still loves apple!

The training and incident with my son has made me realise that others should know about the first aid training that Skills Shop delivers and I would definitely without a doubt recommend Skills Shop to: parents; siblings (children); grandparents and aunties and uncles. In fact, my sister looks after the children sometimes and until now I’ve never thought to ask if she knows first aid.

Thank you for the big benefit Skills Shop. Without having that first aid knowledge and being able to react so quickly, I dread to think what would happen if I hadn’t topped up my first aid skills.

I’m just so grateful!

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