When a young boy went into an epileptic seizure on a school bus from Surrey’s Khalsa School on Friday, 12-year-old Pritika Bawa quickly went into action.
Pritika was first alerted when the grade 3 boy complained of something in his eye. She went to help, but before she knew it “his whole body started shaking,” she said.
“I lied him on his side — not on his back,” she said, explaining that this would prevent him from choking — an important tip she learned in her Grade 7 health and career class.
She then called 911 and waited for emergency crews to arrive so she could answer any questions they had for her. The boy was taken to hospital, and later discharged to recover at home.
“She was so alert,” said Khalsa School Surrey principal Kamalpreet Kaur Baga. “She has made a big difference in somebody’s life.”
Pritika credited her quick response to her health and career class teacher, Harbax Kaur Jaswal, who’s been instructing her grade 7 students on safety issues from fire drills to hygiene to emergency situations.
Fortunately, the lesson plan for March was dedicated to epilepsy.
“Thank God we’d done that lesson,” Jaswal said. “These skills they learn, they take them home — this is a result of it.”
“I’m so proud of her.”
It took a lot of courage for Pritika to take charge of the situation, though.
“I was really scared,” she said, as she described the “horrifying” scene that played out on the school bus." But I knew panicking and worrying would not do anything.
“It’s better to do something than to just stand there being scared.”
Pritika has since been visiting the Khalsa School Surrey classes to share her experience with its nearly 1,000 students.
“I’m really thankful I had a lot of information about this,” she added. “I’ve learned a lot and I want other students to know and be prepared for the situation like I was.”
She also hopes to develop a summer school programme so kids can continue to learn about important safety issues.
Meanwhile, principal Baga plans to honour Pritika for her “act of bravery,” by awarding her a medal, certificate and prize at the school’s awards ceremony in June.
“Some real learning is taking place in this classroom, which I’m really proud of,” added Baga.