Lachlan brings it home

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A nine-year-old boy has become Pakenham’s latest Junior Triple Zero Hero after overcoming social and behavioural challenges to quickly react to his grandpa’s heart attack.

Lachlan Ruck had been spending time at his grandparents’ house when his grandpa, Peter, began feeling unwell.

Both his mother and grandma were out of the house when Lachlan – eight years old at the time – witnessed his grandpa pass out, hitting his head on the coffee table.

Lachlan yelled ‘Wake up Grandpa’ and started shaking him awake. He sought the phone to dial triple-zero.

Ordinarily challenged with “severe anxiety” issues and behavioural problems, Lachlan acted quickly and followed instructions.

Grandma Caren Ruck proudly nominated Lachlan for the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) award that was presented by the Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett and guest speaker Dave Hughes on Thursday 2 June at The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne.

“Who knows, if Lachie hadn’t shaken him and kept so calm to do what he did, Grandpa might not be here with us. We don’t know what would have happened,“ Ms Ruck said.

“He doesn’t normally interact with strangers – he’d usually hide and make loud noises.

“We were all very impressed with Lachie’s behaviour. In a stressful situation like that, he could have easily gone the other way and panicked.”

While Grandpa Peter spoke to the operator, Lachlan helped get the aspirin out of the medication drawer, gathering their five dogs in the bedroom to keep them out of the way and answered the front door for the paramedics.

“I called up the house soon after it happened and Lachie answered. It’s the first time he’s ever answered the phone,” Ms Ruck said.

“It’s the first time he’s coped so well with strangers. He later told me that his legs had felt like jelly the whole time.

“This happened in June last year and since then he’s gone ahead in leaps and bounds. I think it’s helped him learn to cope with difficult situations.”

Lachlan was among 28 children to receive the award in Victoria this year.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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