BRIGHT, bubbly and enthusiastic — Rachael Ralph is certainly someone you would want to have around if you had a medical emergency.
The 15-year-old schoolgirl dreams of becoming a paediatric doctor and is on the right path to achieving that goal by volunteering with St John Ambulance.
For her hard work and dedication to the first aid charity, she has been invited to Buckingham Palace to meet HRH The Princess Royal.
Rachael said: ‘I was shocked when I found out because there are so many people who have done amazing things. It’s such an honour that I was selected out of everyone else.’
Rachael will travel with a youth officer and two others from St John Ambulance to meet Princess Anne on Wednesday. She said: ‘I’m nervous, I don’t even know how to talk to her.’
Rachael, who goes to Wykeham House School, in Fareham, got into St John Ambulance through school and now attends weekly meetings and goes on training courses. Recently she was awarded a trophy for her achievement.
She said: ‘Everything we do in St John Ambulance is fun and worthwhile and it gives us good life skills.’
Rachael joined St John Ambulance eight years ago to learn to save someone’s life, which came in handy when she was on holiday two years ago with her mother when a woman had an asthma attack in the hotel reception.
Quick-thinking Rachael leapt into action, calmed the woman down, put her in the right position and found her inhaler. When the inhaler had no effect, she raised the alarm and the woman went to hospital, where she soon recovered.
Modest Rachael took the incident in her stride and said she was just following her training.
Head of the senior school at Wykeham House Helen Wilson praised Rachael’s skills and attitude.
Miss Wilson said: ‘Rachael has worked so hard, she’s very dedicated. She is such a diligent student.’