South Aucklanders save elderly woman who collapsed in Clendon car park
"I jumped out of the car and ran towards the lady. She was unresponsive,"
This was Johanna Ratahi's reaction after seeing an elderly woman collapse in a carpark
She and Reriana Munroe came to the rescue of the woman outside the Clendon Shopping Centre.
The women had just started an introductory health programme at the Ignite Colleges and within two months of doing they were putting their studies to the test.
The elderly woman had collapsed twice in a short span of time, was unconscious and being held up by a man who was a passerby when Ratahi and Munroe arrived.
"Just by looking at her I knew she wasn't responsive. I couldn't find a pulse," she says.
She knew she had to start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) because the lady was "pale, her lips were dry and her eyes were [wide open] but weren't moving".
With the help of the man, they managed to lay the lady on her back.
She had to introduce herself to the man and explain that she is a health student, because "he wouldn't trust me".
The construction workers from next door took off their jumpers to the lay lady on.
She wasn't breathing for about four minutes.
"It wasn't until I started doing CPR, probably on the third go, that her fingers started twitching. I started talking her. Her eyes were rolling around everywhere," she says.
The girls then turned the woman on to her side.
Another bystander was able to call 111 and direct an ambulance to their location.
Munroe was also on the phone with her tutor Ritchie Verano who was guiding the students through every step of the process.
Munroe says before the programme they would have had no clue how to perform a CPR.
"In the moment, you don't think about anything else. You just feel like you're the person they need," she says.
Verano says this incident "is a great accomplishment on my path as an educator".
"They have applied what they've learnt in class into reality, to help the community," he says.