A child’s life is full of milestones – first words, first steps – but among the precious moments are the agonising ones too.
For five-year-old Ruby Armstrong, the breaking of her humerus bone will be a memory she won’t soon forget.
Fortunate for her, and mother Samantha, Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics Hannah Dawkins and James North made the traumatic experience a happier one when they went beyond their duties to visit her in hospital.
“They were both absolutely amazing with Ruby,” Samantha says.
“She had been inconsolable all day - it was a very traumatic and emotional morning. But when she saw Hannah and James in hospital, it put a smile on her face after what had been a pretty miserable day.”
Ruby begun her day at school like any other, playing on the monkey bars with friends. But she fell and landed on her shoulder.
Inconsolable and in unbearable pain, teachers took her to the sick bay and called her mother. Samantha decided it might be a good idea to call for expert assistance.
Upon arriving at school, Hannah and James cut Ruby’s sleeve away to see that the upper half of her arm was at a funny angle.
“She was pretty scared and very emotional. She didn’t want pain-relief and didn’t want her arm put in a sling. It was very traumatic for her and her mum,” Hannah says.
“But we got down on her level and explained everything to her; that she was in good hands, that we and her mum wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her.”
Samantha drove her daughter to hospital because Ruby was too frightened to get in the ambulance.
After a couple of x-rays and with her arm in a cast, Ruby had two unexpected guests, to her “absolute delight, Samantha says.
“Ruby had been crying all day and out of the blue came the lovely paramedics who were so good with her earlier – she was rapt. It was nice chance for us to say thank you too.”