Quick-thinking schoolgirl saves a life

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EASTWOOD high pupil Heather McLaren received recognition this week after saving a stranger’s life on a Newton Mearns street.

The sixth year student was walking to school on Fruin Avenue on Monday, December 17 when an elderly lady collapsed yards in front of her.

Heather (17) rushed to her aid thinking that she had fallen – but after realising the situation was more serious, she immediately dialled 999 before performing CPR.

The quick-thinking teen remembered how to carry out the manoeuvre thanks to a memorable British Heart Foundation advert starring Vinnie Jones, which advises giving CPR to the tune of the Bee Gees’ song Staying Alive – aired a few weeks before the incident.

Heather explained: “I just did it – I didn’t think about it. When I got to the woman I couldn’t feel a pulse and there was no one else around.

“I remembered seeing the Vinnie Jones advert on TV so I thought I’d try it”.

She remained with the woman – who has not been named – until an ambulance arrived, and later learned that she had suffered a heart attack, but was now in stable condition in hospital and would recover.

Heather – who plans to study nursing at university and hopes to specialise in surgery – attended a special presentation at Eastwood House this week, cheered on by mum Mhairi, dad John and sister Rachel (14).

There, she was presented with an award by councillor Elaine Green, East Renfrewshire council’s convener of education and equalities, who said: “What Heather did was absolutely phenomenal.

“That she was able not only to stay calm and raise the alarm, but also performed CPR on the elderly lady for five minutes — all while on her own — is fantastic.

“Heather fully deserves this award, and the praise of everyone at Eastwood high school and East Renfrewshire council”.

Stuart Maxwell, head teacher at Eastwood high, congratulated the schoolgirl on the well-deserved accolade, adding: “Heather is a very mature and responsible girl, and we’re very proud of her”.