First aid lessons at The King’s School saved Diana Marcellino’s life.
Ms Marcellino visited the school last week to thank the teens who rushed to her aid following a two car collision on Victoria Road at Gladesville in March.
Year 12 students Angus Gall, 17, Tim Sampson, 17, and his cousin Marsden Sampson, 18, stopped to help Ms Marcellino, who was trapped with critical injuries.
“I went to Diana’s car and with the help of bystanders, we got the passenger door open,” Angus said. “I got in and was sitting in the passenger seat for around 20 minutes supporting her neck and talking to her, trying to keep her calm. Once the paramedics arrived, they wanted me to keep going with what I was doing. Tim and I were both in the back for probably another 20 minutes, just talking to Diana, telling her to focus on her breathing and trying to keep her calm, which she did extremely well considering the situation and her injuries.”
Ms Marcellino was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital with two fractured vertebrae in her neck, nine fractured ribs, a fractured sternum, nose, left foot, right arm and a fractured right leg in two places, a punctured lung and bleed on the brain. She was in a coma for several days and spent seven weeks in hospital before she was transferred to a rehabilitation unit. She finally returned home last Friday.
“I’ve been asked, ‘Do you remember this? Do you remember that?’ The answer is no, I remember nothing except for those boys’ voices,” she said. “For me, they are the ones who kept me going.”
Headmaster Dr Tim Hawkes said: “They saw a need and responded to it without giving a thought about the danger they were in or the trauma they would witness. In an age when most prefer to watch rather than get involved, it is refreshing to hear of young men who were prepared to help.”
The boys were presented with recognition certificates.
“It was an emotional day and the first time the boys had seen Diana since the accident,” NSW Ambulance Inspector Kevin McSweeney said. He encouraged other schools and organisations to introduce first aid training. “It’s a fantastic skill that everyone will benefit from, regardless of whether it’s on a member of the public or a loved one,” he said.