By John Ensor •
Updated: 18 Sep 2023 • 8:02
Credit: Alexander Softog/Shutterstock.com
Thanks to the bravery and quick-thinking of a young girl, her grandfather’s life was saved.
One morning in Kangasa, Pirkanmaa in Finland, a young girl named Meeri Pussinen, who was just eight at the time, was faced with a life-changing situation. Her grandfather suffered a stroke and collapsed on the kitchen floor, writes YLE.
A family friend present during the incident immediately dialled the emergency number. Due to his limited mobility, he couldn’t administer first aid. Meeri, however, listened intently to the instructions relayed by the emergency services and sprang into action, performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on her grandfather.
She bravely continued for roughly 10 minutes until the ambulance crew arrived. The Regional Administrative Office stated, ‘Without Meeri’s brave efforts, the grandfather would have died.’
Surprisingly, Meeri had never practised CPR before, nor had she witnessed it being performed. Her father revealed in a press release from the Regional State Administrative Agency, ‘My daughter had not previously practised CPR or seen how it is done.’
Despite this harrowing experience, it has motivated Meeri to take things further. ‘The incident has left a positive impression, in that Meeri has chosen an optional first aid course at school for the spring,’ shared her father.
In addition to Meeri’s commendable act, Jukka Lappalainen from Pirkkala and Heikki Tiiva from Kangasa were also honoured. They were recognised for their courageous ice rescues. The lifesaving medals were presented by President of the Republic.
These medals have been a tradition in Finland since the 1920s, with 10-15 citizens receiving them annually.
Many other nations have a rich tradition of recognising individuals who have displayed exceptional bravery in life-threatening situations.
In the UK, the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), established in 1891, has been at the forefront of recognising and training individuals in lifesaving skills.
Spain, too, has its own set of awards for lifesaving. The Spanish Lifesaving Federation (Federacion Española de Salvamento y Socorrismo) recognises individuals who have displayed exceptional bravery in rescuing others from perilous situations.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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