A HERO security guard helped save a toddler’s life after she suddenly went into hypoglycaemic shock in a supermarket.
Toni Rimavicius was shopping in Tesco on Tuesday morning when she noticed her two-year-old daughter Ava-Mai’s eyes were rolling back into her head.
The toddler’s body had gone floppy, her lips were blue, her breathing was shallow and she was slipping in and out of consciousness.
Panic-stricken Miss Rimavicius, aged 27, shouted for help and staff at the store in Longcauseway, Farnworth, rushed over to help.
Little Ava-Mai was then taken to the front of the supermarket, where she was given first aid by 51-year-old security guard Ronnie Walker.
He checked the youngster’s pulse and breathing, tried his best to keep her awake and put her in the recovery position when she lost consciousness four times while other staff called for an ambulance.
When paramedics arrived Ava-Mai was rushed to the Royal Bolton Hospital, where doctors discovered she had low blood sugar and had gone into hypoglycaemic shock.
The youngster had barely eaten or drank in the previous days due to a diarrhoea and vomiting bug, but after being given glucose gel and a drink she made a full recovery.
Miss Rimavicius, who is also mum to Demi-Lea, aged 10, and Charlie-James, aged four, said: “I am so thankful to the staff in Tesco, and especially to Ronnie — he saved Ava-Mai’s life.
“Everyone was absolutely brilliant. They could not have done anything more.
“The doctors at the hospital said she was very lucky.”
Miss Rimavicius is a first aider herself, but said shock and panic meant she did not know what to do.
The factory worker, of Boscombe Gardens, added: “It was so awful. At one point I looked at her and I thought she had died — her lips were blue.”
Ava-Mai’s dad John Whenlock added: “I am just so grateful — I cannot thank the staff enough really.”
Mr Walker, of Eastham Way, Little Hulton, has worked in Tesco in Farnworth for four years.
In the three years he has been first aid trained, he said he has dealt with all manner of medical incidents in the store — from slips and falls to heart attacks.
The father-of-five and grandfather-of-18, who is originally from Liverpool, said: “I am just so glad she is okay.
“After the ambulance took her away I walked off to take five minutes and that was when I just went to pieces. I was so worried.
“All the staff did their best and everyone was fantastic — it was not just me.
“I am not a hero, I was just doing my job.”
Mr Walker is now urging store bosses to install a defibrillator and purchase medical screens — as during Ava-Mai’s emergency staff had to instead hold up blankets and sheets to give her privacy.
He added: “I always wanted to become a first aider to help the customers.
“I think in a family at least one person should be first aid trained — it does save lives.”
Store manager Warren Sheady was having a meeting in the Tesco cafe at the time of the incident.
He said: “I am so proud of all my staff — they jumped to work so quickly and knew exactly what to do.”
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