BY TOBY PORTER
A 16-year-old scout used her emergency care training to save the life of a man who had been stabbed as many as seven times.
Lois Mulhall, from Camberwell, applied all the lessons she had learned in the Phoenix Explorers (23rd Camberwell) troupe, based in St Giles Road, to save the victim, who had been attacked with knives and machetes yards from her front door.
The former pupil of Kingsdale Foundation School, Dulwich, currently at college in Clapham, staunched the flow of blood, especially from the deepest wound in his back.
She also talked to the victim and urged her mum Joanne to do the same as she grabbed towels and put him in the recovery position.
Within seconds, Joanne’s and Lois’s clothes were covered in blood and the victim was drifting in and out of consciousness.
But police and paramedics arrived and tore off all his clothes before doing everything they could to keep him alive. He was taken to King’s College Hospital, Camberwell and where his life hung in the balance.
He was in a coma for two weeks. But he is now making a full recovery, after the attack on November 11 last year.
Lois had done everything right – she applied pressure, talked to him, and knew exactly what to tell the call handlers when telephoning 999.
The emergency services have stated, though, that without the actions of Lois and her parents, he would have died before they’d even reached the scene.
Lois has been hailed by no less than survival expert Bear Grylls for her achievement – he wrote to her to say: “I just wanted to congratulate you on your award. Your story is an inspiration to many and personifies all that is best about the scout movement.
You are a shining example and your contribution and devotion to scouting is such an inspiration to me and many others. You should be rightly proud.”
She will also be a guest at Windsor Castle in April, in recognition of her coolness in a crisis.
Lois joked: “I wear the medal everywhere now!
“You see all this stuff about stabbings happening but you never think it is going to happen on your doorstep.
“I’m so glad he is still alive and I was able to make that happen because of the training I had received at the Scouts.
“I was in my room when I heard mum screaming my name and shouting ‘hurry up, hurry up’.
“She didn’t know what to do.
“I said to call his name and started pressing towels against the wounds. We thought the one on his neck was the worst.
He kept saying it was his back and we pressed that but we didn’t see how bad it was til the paramedics took his shirt off.
“We were all scared for him.
“All the training just came out.
“I didn’t think about it until afterwards. It was a life-changing experience.”
Lois’ dad Tony was out walking the family dog, Paddy, when he saw the victim being chased by up to 10 teenagers.
The terrified man was then cornered on the stairs where the Mulhalls live and stabbed several times before the gang ran away.
Tony dragged the man into their block and called Joanne to ring police – but neither had a clue what to do, so her mum shouted to Joanne to come and help.
Joanne cradled him on her lap while Lois grabbed towels and pushed them against his wounds before putting him in the recovery position.
The paramedics and police arrived within 10 minutes and strapped his wounds before rushing him to hospital.
Lois, now 17, had started going to Scouts aged six, following the example of her older brother Eddie, and because her friend Annae Beacon enjoyed it.
She was given her Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct by the County Commissioner for her swift action and cool head in the life-saving situation.
She also got to meet her musical hero, Plan B, at a recent gig after a mutual friend told the singer/rapper her story.
Her mum said: “If Lois had not been there, he would have died. He had two deep wounds in his neck but the one in his back was the worst.
Lois was amazing. It was just me and her because my husband had to go out to show the ambulance where we were. It was really scary, but she just got on with it.”
A statement from South London Scouts said: “We are enormously proud of Lois for her swift actions, for remembering what to do, for embracing the situation, and doing the right thing.
All those things fell into place, and have resulted in a young man being given back a life that was almost taken away.
It is the greatest gift anyone could given another person, which is what this award recognises.”