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Windsor Life Savers Honoured

Faught-Header(WINDSOR, ON) – Just hours after little five year-old Xavier completed his Early Year JK week, a sudden scare came to his heart. His younger sister, Aria, was choking on a French fry.

The observant, empathetic, and compassionate five year-old noticed his mother was busy feeding his infant brother so he quickly put his hand on Aria and told her to cough it up, patting her on her back a few times.

Xavier McEldowney poses with his siblings after receiving the Canadian Red Cross Rescue Award on 5 December 2016.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Xavier McEldowney poses with his siblings after receiving the Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Award on 5 December 2016.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The French fry immediately came right out of the young girl’s mouth. His mother immediately thanked her young son for helping his sister in her crisis.

“A hero is not just somebody who has the ability and the knowledge do something, it’s the willingness to step into place to do something,” said Lilly LeBlanc, of the Red Cross. “He did. He just jumped out of his chair without thinking and right away rescued his little sister.”

Like many children his age, the youngster is obsessed with super heroes. Xavier’s mother reports he has a room full of them.

“It was scary. I couldn’t get up as fast as I wanted to because I had the baby and I’m so glad he somehow knew what to do,” Alycia McEldowney, of Sandwich Town, said. “He’s my real life super hero. I didn’t even really fully grasp what was happening until he was patting her on the back and she spit her fry out. I was putting the baby down as fast as I could so I could grab her, but he was faster.”

According to scholarschoice.com, the type of empathy and compassion that Xavier demonstrated can be taught to children as young as two years old through some basic role play.

CJ Taylor, the manager of Ontario West Prevention and Safety, said that Xavier is the youngest person to receive the Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Award.

Amanda Ferrari is presented with the Canadian Red Cross Rescue Award by CJ Taylor on 5 December 2016.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Amanda Ferrari is presented with the Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Award by CJ Taylor on 5 December 2016.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Today, Xavier joined Amanda Ferrari, a nurse, to receive the award.

Ferrari also displayed quick thinking when she witnessed Laurie Ouellette and Kent Ferguson sitting at a table inside a local Wendy’s restaurant. Laurie collapsed at the table suffering from a cardiac arrest.

When Amanda heard Kent ask for someone to call 911, she immediately went to their table and identified herself as a nurse. She started CPR on Laurie, bringing her back three times, and remained with her until Essex-Windsor EMS arrived. EMS had to continue CPR for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.

Laurie was then transferred to the Ouellette Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital, where she was put on life support for three days. Following a minor medical procedure, Laurie was discharged after a week.

“Those no doubt, in our minds, Laurie is here today because of Amanda’s quick decision to come forward and perform CPR until EMS arrived,” said Taylor.

Laurie Ouellette (L) and Amanda Ferrari pose together after Ferrari was awarded the Rescue Award for saving Ouellette's life.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Laurie Ouellette (L) and Amanda Ferrari pose together after Ferrari was awarded the Rescuer Award for saving Ouellette’s life.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Laurie has continued to improve and she and Kent and Amanda have now become good friends after Laurie’s frightening restaurant incident.

“Just putting simple compressions on a chest can save a life,” Amanda said. “If you have an opportunity to go learn [CPR] I highly recommend it. You never know when you’re going to use it.”

Click here to learn more about what to do if someone is choking in your presence. And click her to learn more about what to do if someone is choking.

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