Lifesaving student nominated for award after heroic act saved little girl

Rachel Rose

Published on 27 August 2019

She’d not long received her basic life support training when University of Sunderland student Rachel Rose had to swing into action to save a little girl from dying.

And her skills were dramatically put to the test when she was on holiday with her family in Alcudia, Majorca, when she found herself in the middle of a medical emergency.

Five-year-old Kylie Ann Stewart slipped into unconsciousness on the floor of a hotel complex and Sunderland University student Rachel didn’t think twice when she launched into saving her life.

And now she has been nominated by the university she attends for a prestigious Chronicle Champions Award in the Outstanding Act of Bravery category.

Rachel, 37, a first year student studying adult nursing at the University, said: “This is what I am training for so I did what I had to do.

"The little girl has done the hard work by getting well again. She is a little battler and she is well enough to go back to school in September.

"It was good that I just had the training so I could use it but I don't see myself as a hero."

Simone Bedford, team leader for Post-Grad Nursing at the University of Sunderland, said: “Rachel is an inspiration to all student nurses, we are very proud of her actions, she has clearly demonstrated the 6C’s of nursing, those being Care, Compassion, Competence, Commitment, Communication and most importantly, Courage.”

Rachel added: “I didn’t think, I just knew I had to do something.

“I felt for her pulse but there was nothing there; there was no breath either and her chest wasn’t moving.

“I knew I had to start CPR straight away, my mind was racing, all I could think about was how young she was.

“For four minutes I kept going but there was nothing, no signs of life at all. But all the training had told us to keep going, so that’s what I did. 

“Then, in the fifth minute she came round, she was just about breathing, then she started moving her eyes a little. I put her straight into the recovery position, I couldn’t believe it.”

In the days prior her heroics, Rachel had been enjoying a one-week sunshine break with her sister, Natalie Cooper, as well as children Connor, 17, and Caitlin, 15, and mum, Denise Rose.

Three days into their stay, on a Saturday night, Rachel had finished her evening meal and was heading towards the entertainment area when Catherine Stewart, 37, came running past, cradling daughter Kylie Ann in her arms.

Rachel, of Hartlepool, said: “I could see she was very upset and frightened so I followed after her into the complex reception where she started asking for help.”

Catherine, of Donegal, Ireland, had been at the resort with her four children, including Kylie Ann, and husband Jonathan Stewart, 36.

She recalls: “I was just screaming for help, asking for them to call an ambulance. I was terrified but no one seemed able to help.

“Then suddenly, Rachel seemed to appear out of nowhere and took over, performing CPR.

“It was all a bit of a blur but there is no doubt that she saved my daughter’s life.

“Kylie Ann is the centre of our family and I cannot bear the thought of what might have happened if we’d lost her.”