Cadet Sophia Xerri’s First Aid Actions

Cadet Sophia Xerri’s First Aid Actions

26 July 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Cambridgeshire ACF’s commitment to first aid training continues to yield impressive results as we help equip more and more young people with the confidence and skills needed to help others. However, the experience of helping someone in an emergency situation always requires calmness and courage which those individuals must find for themselves. These achievements are particularly impressive when demonstrated by our younger cadets, and last month, 13 year old Cadet Sophia Xerri, of Cambourne Detachment, showed she had had these very qualities.

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Cadet Xerri.

On 16th June, Sophia was visiting her dad at his house when he slipped on a wet floor and broke his leg severely (both tibia and fibula). His lower leg was very disjointed, with the foot becoming discoloured and facing the wrong way. He was in a great deal of pain and Sophia found herself dealing with a very distressing situation.

She quickly assessed the situation and determined that he had broken his leg. She said; ‘I saw his foot had turned purple and there was a lump sticking out of his leg, so I knew it was a break and I had to keep him calm and keep him still.’ This proved to be difficult, as her dad was persistently trying to move and stand up, and she had to be very assertive with him to get him to stop. She stayed calm and kept him calm. She reassured him, explained what she was doing and made him comfortable with a cushion, and tried to stabilise his leg, then called her mum for help. When her mum arrived, she realised it was a very severe break and that urgent treatment was needed.

They felt the quickest way to get him treatment was to get him to the hospital themselves. Sophia helped lift him slowly to an upright position, and clear a pathway. She then helped her mum carry him out the house. She continued to stay calm even while her dad was shouting in pain. Her mum then drove her dad to the hospital. Although Sophia was very upset, she set about cleaning up in the house to ensure everything was nice for her dad when he returned home. Nearly six weeks later, her dad is still unable to walk but expected to make a full recovery.

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Cadet Xerri during a drill lesson.

Cadet Xerri joined the Army Cadet Force in September of last year, and is very enthusiastic. She said; ‘I like seeing my friends and doing PT (Physical Training)- its really fun. I also enjoyed the first aid training we did, such as Doctor's ABC (or DRABC, an acronym to help remember the stages of assessing an emergency) and dealing with a heart attack and stroke.’

Her mum, Liz, said: ‘I’m most proud of her for staying calm when seeing someone you love in so much pain. Looking after him and knowing what to do in an emergency, she knew to keep him still so he wouldn’t hurt himself further, which has saved his leg.’

Her Detachment Commander, SSI Lucinda Crawford, said: ‘What she did was brilliant. It shows how important being taught first aid is- everyone really needs to do it. Cdt Xerri is super eager, always up for doing new things and always joining in- she loves it.’

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart. Thanks to Cdt Xerri and Liz Smith.