A schoolgirl potentially saved the life of her water rafting instructor after he suffered a stroke while she was completing a charity challenge in Kenya.
Sixteen-year-old Leticia Salmon, who hopes to be a nurse in the Army, sprung into action after she was able to recognise the warning signs from when her mum suffered a stroke two years ago.
The young Army cadet was white water rafting as part of the Exercise Kenya Adventurer charity challenge, when her instructor started displaying signs of suffering from a stroke.
Noticing that the 57-year-old officer was shaking uncontrollably and had trouble speaking, Leticia used her first aid training on the instructor before alerting the tour leader, who was travelling in the boat behind them.
Leticia, a Solihull School pupil, then joined an all-male crew to paddle the instructor to shore.
“The officer was in shock and unable to control his thought processes, so I reassured him that he had had a stroke but would be all right,” Leticia, a corporal in the school’s Combined Cadet Force, said.
“As he was shivering with cold, I removed his life jacket and helmet and wrapped him in a blanket, and then I brought back circulation to his fingers before the adults took him away to hospital in Nairobi.”
The instructor had suffered a transient ischaemic attack or ‘mini stroke’ and made a full recovery after spending two days in hospital.
“I knew from my training and my mother suffering a stroke two years ago that we needed to act fast to prevent the officer from having another more serious attack or from over balancing and having a life-threatening fall,” Leticia added.
Leticia’s heroic act happened just days after she helped to build a new nursery classroom for a village school in central Kenya.
She also successfully climbed to the 4,985-metre summit of Point Lenana on Mount Kenya as part of the expedition.
Lt Col Richard Ayres, the officer in charge of Exercise Kenya Adventurer, said: “Leticia had an outstanding expedition and proved to be an all-rounder of the first order.
“Her first aid skills proved exemplary in a major incident and I would not hesitate in going on an expedition with Leticia again – she is a credit to her family, the CCF and Solihull School.”