‘Phenomenal’ lifesavers thanked for saving 14-year-old’s life

Gareth Topping and Richard Baker from Sidmouth International School, thank Maddie Todd, Guy Russell,

Gareth Topping and Richard Baker from Sidmouth International School, thank Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Guy Bennett and Martin Barnard. Ref shs 27 19TI 7127. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Rescuers who sprang into action to save a teenage girl after she collapsed have been hailed for saving her life.

Her parents and staff at Sidmouth International School (SIS) have praised the 'phenomenal' work of the community for coming to 14-year-old Daria Stolyarchuk's aid on Friday afternoon (June 28).

Daria was part of an organised trip to Jurassic Paddle Sport and was on land when she needed medical assistance for a heart related incident.

Guy Russell and Maddie Todd, from Jurassic Paddle Sports, were among those who rushed to her side and administered CPR and chest compressions.

Off duty nurse Leigh Dean and SIS team leader Richard Baker provided assistance to resuscitate Daria while awaiting the emergency services.

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Defibrillators from Sidmouth Cricket Club and Sidmouth Lifeboat were brought to the scene.

Gareth Topping, SIS social activities organiser, said: "She is one very lucky 14-year-old. She was in the water less than a minute before coming out and said to one of her friends 'I do not feel well' and then she collapsed.

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"There was the right kit, the guys got two defibrillators from cricket club and lifeboat station. They used the defibrillator. They did a damn good job. With these guys doing what they did on the beach she is going to make a really good recovery."

Emergency services, including Devon Air Ambulance and Beer Coastguard, were called out to the beach at 2.21pm.

Daria had arrived from Russia on Saturday, June 22, for a three-week visit and was airlifted to Bristol Children's Hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit.

She has now moved to the cardio unit and is undergoing tests.

On the beach was a group leader from Russia who spoke with her family to check for any medical conditions. Her mother Anna also commended the services for saving their daughter.

Jay Bowden and Sidmouth Lifeboat's Martin Barnard and Guy Bennett were thanked for clearing the beach and managing traffic.

Diahann Byrne, SIS general manager, said "It could have happened anywhere. For it to happen where so many people could help her. The amount of people who offered to help her is absolutely phenomenal. She looks remarkable, she is speaking and eating. Mum and dad are over the moon with her recovery."

Daria's mother has also thanked lifesavers. Read her tributes to their actions here.

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