Boy uses Shortland Street first aid

By Kiri Gillespie

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A 14-year-old boy used life-saving first aid he learned watching Shortland Street to treat his injured friend after he was hit by a car.

Mount Maunganui College students Rain Rimaha and Kaleb Barnett were making their way to a friend's place on June 9 when they crossed Maunganui Rd near Spur Ave.

Kaleb, 14, was carrying a skateboard in his hand when he was hit by a car coming off the flyover and knocked unconscious. Rain was in front but heard Kaleb being hit from behind.

"It was just like a bang and skidding," Rain said.

"I tried to get him off the road. I picked him up and he was seizuring [sic] in my hands so I put him down."

Rain, who turned 15 a week ago, put Kaleb into the recovery position and cleared his airway when Kaleb began frothing at at the mouth.

"It kept coming, so I was wiping it away."

Rain called an ambulance, then Kaleb's father, Marcus Duffy.

His actions that day were the result of picking up "bits and pieces" from Shortland Street , as well as health class.

Kaleb suffered a head injury and was rushed to Tauranga Hospital in a serious condition.

Mr Duffy said he had no idea how bad Kaleb's situation was until he saw him fighting staff at hospital - an effect of his injury. "They were trying to hook him up with wires and stick needles into him and he was putting up quite a fight. They asked me if I could try to calm him," Mr Duffy said. "He had no idea who I was, which just ripped my heart out.

"It had me and my three mates in tears for quite a while. There we were, three grown men bawling their eyes out."

Kaleb spent the night in an induced coma but woke 12 hours later and was walking around "being a smart arse". Two days later he was discharged.

"I'm just happy to have my boy back. We are very lucky for him to bounce back how he has, after what's happened to him, is just amazing."

Ten days on from being hit, Kaleb had his first day back at school yesterday.

Kaleb said he regularly crossed that stretch of Maunganui Rd to catch a bus home every day after school.

Kaleb said "it would be cool" if an overpass or underpass could be built in the area to ensure a safe crossing. His mother, Keesha Barnett, said she held no ill feeling towards the driver. "We want to bring more awareness to how unsafe it is to cross that road. Kaleb accepts responsibility for crossing at a stupid place. We want to make sure that lady and her family are okay."

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- Bay of Plenty Times

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