Adele Kelly was just heading to bed when she was startled by the sound of a two-car crash outside her home in Gorokan, NSW.
The notorious corner was the scene of another serious accident with one car ploughing into neighbouring house, trapping the 26-year-old male backseat passenger.
Luckily for him Adele had just the day before completed a week of first aid training as part of a course she was completing through Joblife Employment.
“In the past I would have been a bystander, calling 000 and waiting for the ambulance to arrive,” she said.
“But I looked at the crash scene and thought “You’ve got this Adele”.
“For the first time I felt empowered to help.”
Armed with her new-found knowledge she leapt into action, immediately triaging the situation to identify who was in need of her skills the most.
“The chap in the back of the car was clearly unconscious while there were a couple of walking wounded and a semi-conscious man in the front.”
She instructed one neighbour to direct traffic, another to call for a number of ambulances.
“I could see the back-seat passenger had a serious gash to his head – there was clearly bone showing. I asked someone for a clean cloth to stop the bleeding and held his head and neck up in the event that he might have had a spinal injury.
“He started coming in and out of consciousness and I was able to ask him questions such as if he had allergies and what injuries he had – anything to keep him awake and alert.”
The ambulance officers arrived quickly on the scene and asked Adele to continue what she was doing while they worked on the injured man. She was there for two hours supporting the paramedics and contacting family and friends of the victims. The backseat passenger required 42 stitches to the head and had surgery for internal injuries.
The incident, and her training has inspired the mother of four to now pursue a career as a nurse.
“The course has given me clarity about what I want to do and actually change the path I was heading on. I have confidence to chase my dreams that I didn’t have before.”
Despite suffering from Chron’s disease, aneamia and endometriosis, Adele has not let her disabilities impact on the way she lives her life. She is embracing every opportunity that comes her way, every day.