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Young horse rider in first aid dash

If a young girl falls off her horse and stops breathing would you know what to do? Well that was the scenario facing members of the national first aid, care and patient transport charity, St. John Ambulance Sussex recently.

Horse rider, Natasha Morris from Horsham was taking part in a Senior Camp organised by the Crawley & Horsham Pony Club when she suddenly fell, stopped breathing and was treated by the voluntary organisation's first aiders, Hilary Thompson and Steve Walker.

Natasha, 12, also suffered facial injuries in the incident and was airlifted to the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath and later transferred by Matthew Codling and Daryl Peters of the St. John Ambulance Patient Transport Service to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children in Brighton. She is now making a good recovery.

Her recovery can be attributed to the knowledge of emergency first aid given by Steve and Hilary with club organisers Sue Slade and Julian Langridge. They were later joined by paramedics from Sussex Ambulance Service and worked as a team.

Natasha's mother, Denise, said: "I was so relieved when her breathing was restored and she was put into the recovery position to help keep her breathing going. I had taken a 4 day First Aid and Work qualification myself and so felt reassured that Steve and Hilary would revive her. I cannot stress enough the importance of going on a short first aid course."

Natasha Morris on her horse Sonic Fox

Ro Jennings, District Commissioner for the Crawley & Horsham Pony Club added: "St. John Ambulance Sussex responded quickly and with professionalism. It was teamwork at its best. Hilary kept working for 40 minutes with Natasha. The team were wonderful."

A variety of emergency first aid training courses for parents of babies and young children are available from the ten St. John Ambulance Sussex venue centres across East and West Sussex. The local centres are based at Horsham and Crawley. To find out more or to book a place call the Sussex HQ on 01903 235599 or refer to their website:

St John Ambulance, a voluntary organisation and leading first aid trainer, serves the people of East and West Sussex by providing first aid and medical support, care services for meeting business and community needs; education, training and personal development of young people (5-17 years).

Its volunteers provide over 10,000 hours of voluntary service to the public everyday.


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