WATCH: Joburg boy rewarded for saving his disabled twin brother
If 11-year-old Luke Bridle hadn't kept his head that day, his twin brother David would have drowned in the bath.
The twins were home alone with their nanny when tragedy struck. She was busy bathing David. “Our son David is disabled, and is also an epileptic," explains the twins’ mother, Shandre Bridle.
"He and Luke have an extremely special bond and from a young age Luke has learned how he can help David when needed.
It was early September. Her husband Brian was on a business trip and she was on her way home when she received a call that almost made her heart stop.
The nanny had quickly left the bathroom to fetch a towel, when David had an epileptic fit in the bath.
“His face went under the water and his body went rigid during the seizure, he fell forward and he was drowning in the bath.
“Thankfully, Luke immediately jumped into the bath to try to get David’s head out of the water. Our child minder came running in but it was very difficult for her and Luke to lift David out of the bath because of the seizure.
“It frightens me to think of it, but David could have drowned,” Shandré says.
Within seconds Luke had pulled out the plug so that the water could run out, but there was still some concern that David had ingested water during the seizure, their father Brian says.
“Together the child minder and Luke managed to get him out of the bath and lay him over the woman’s knee so that the water could drain from his mouth.
“Luke helped to pummel his brother’s back to help expel any remaining fluid from his lungs," explains the proud dad.
Luke then pressed the panic button to alert the insurance company’s ambulance service, and called his mother, who is trained in first aid.
Once she arrived she and Luke went through the necessary steps to make sure that David was breathing properly and placed him in the recovery position until the emergency services arrived.
David made a full recovery after being admitted to the Netcare Olivedale hospital in Johannesburg.
Luke’s quick thinking impressed emergency services so much that he received a prize from Netcare 911 on Wednesday.
“It is very rare to come across a child with the ability to act quickly and sensibly under such stressful and frightening circumstances,” says Craig Grindell, managing director of Netcare 911.
“We were so impressed at how Luke helped to save his twin brother’s life that we decided to award him a special Netcare 911 bravery certificate.”