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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Hero Harry has saved his sister's life more than 20 times

Harry Flynn (8) from Waterford with his little sister Isabelle
Harry Flynn (8) from Waterford with his little sister Isabelle

Elaine Keogh

LITTLE Isabelle doesn't need a superhero in her life – she already has her eight-year-old brother who has saved her life at least 20 times.

"There is no doubt that she would be dead except for Harry," mum Maria (38) said about her quick-thinking son, who first gave his infant sister life-saving breaths when she was just eight-weeks-old and he was seven.

Now 18-months-old, Isabelle was born at 28 weeks and her prematurity is responsible for her having 'apnoea of prematurity', which regularly causes her to stop breathing for at least 20 seconds.

Harry saved her life after putting into practise the basic life-saving skills he learnt with the Irish Red Cross T-Bears – aka the Teddy Bears. The course teaches those aged between five and 10 first aid.

"He is very calm and was sure of himself because of the practice he had done using mannequins. I am a Red Cross leader in another group but I haven't saved anyone's life and Harry has," said Maria.

The family were in their Waterford home when Isabelle stopped breathing for the first time.

"She had cried a little then gone silent and turned blue. Harry was holding her and he tapped her foot and called her name. Then when she didn't respond, just like in his training, he breathed twice into her mouth and she came round.

"She would have passed away but for his quick thinking."

As a result of the condition, there is a special alarm in Isabelle's cot.

Maria said that more often than not Harry is faster out of bed when he hears it and, "he has saved her life at least 20 more times".

"He is an amazing son and brother and I am very proud of him."

Harry is delighted with a certificate of merit award he received from the Irish Red Cross.

"I am really happy I was able to save Isabelle's life and maybe if you join the Irish Red Cross you would learn how to save a life too."

Harry's T-bear group was trained by Maria's brother Derek Condon (39), while her other daughter Molly (5) also knows basic first aid.

Darren Ryan, chairman of the Irish Red Cross Youth Working Group, said: "Harry's heroic actions show that first aid training for young people can really make a difference."

* For more information about volunteering, visit the Irish Red Cross online.

Irish Independent

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