BRAVERY award recipient Jayla Wallace needed plastic surgery to her face and ongoing physiotherapy after she stepped in front of a truck to save her four-year-old nephew, but says she would do it all again.
The 13-year-old was recognised at the 2018 Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards last week along with Ellenbrook six-year-old Ruby-Maree Ugle and Shire of Mundaring lifeguard Emma Mercuri.
On July 10 Jayla boarded a bus from Midland Gate Shopping Centre with her nephew Jordyn Prior, his mother Jessy Scattini and several other family members, headed for their Jane Brook home.
As they disembarked at Talbot Rd, Jordyn ran across the road.
“I just remember Jordyn running across the road, I thought the bus would hit him first, but then I saw the truck,” Jayla said.
“I just started chasing him straight out, it was instinct.”
Jayla’s mother Julie Smith said the accident left her daughter unrecognisable.
“I was looking at the other beds [in the hospital], her face didn’t look like her face, it was so swollen and covered in cuts.”
The teenager required plastic surgery to her eyebrow, extensive surgery on her knee, and was required to wear a full leg brace.
Jordyn was put into an induced coma and is now recovering from his injuries.
Both are receiving ongoing treatment.
A second eastern suburbs youngster was also recognised at the ceremony last Wednesday.
Ellenbrook six-year-old Ruby-Maree Ugle made the brave decision to call for help after her mother collapsed at home.
The Royal Life Saving Society of WA said Ruby-Maree’s calm response in caring for her mum, keeping her younger siblings (5-years-old and 18-months-old) away and calling for help, saved her mum’s life.
Grandmother Joneen Fowler said Ruby-Maree was an empathetic child, in touch with the feelings of others.
“I am just so proud of her and how brave she was, she even went up on stage to get her award by herself without an adult,” she said.
“She’s very proud of herself, she took the award to school today [Tuesday].”
Four years of lifeguarding experience at Bilgoman Aquatic Centre helped Herne Hill’s Emma Mercuri save a life while on holiday in Bali.
The 20-year-old was playing volleyball at Waterbomb Park when a boy, aged under five, was found lifeless in the pool.
“It just happened so fast, one minute he was swimming around and the next minute he was blue,” she said.
“I went straight to my DRSABCD, I thought, he’s in danger, there’s no response, we looked for a lifeguard and then I commenced CPR.”
Emma placed him on his side in the recovery position and waited for the lifeguards to arrive after the boy coughed up water and began breathing.
The Royal Life Saving Society Bravery Awards identify and reward people in the community who have taken extraordinary actions to save another person’s life.
The three eastern suburbs recipients and 42 others were honoured at the State Reception Centre in Kings Park.
By Claire Ottaviano