An Alberta teen was honoured for saving his stepdad's life Tuesday – by none other than the Queen of England.
Eighteen-year-old Tyler Bailer, from Wetaskiwin, Alta., was invited to a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II presented him with the Russell Medal.
Last July, Bailer was at home one evening with his parents when he heard his mother scream. He ran upstairs and saw his stepfather lying on the floor, not breathing.
He sprung into action and began performing CPR until emergency crews arrived to take over.
The Royal Family praised the teen's heroic actions in a Facebook post.
"Many of the health professionals asked who had performed the initial CPR and commented on how skillfully he had administered it for the first time, especially on a family member and without any injury to the patient. He did, in fact, save his step-fathers life," it read.
Bailer has long been passionate about lifesaving. He told Global News he's been performing in lifesaving classes and competitions since he was six.
“I started with swimming lessons,” Bailer said. “Our pool has always had this junior lifeguarding club and I just got into it, I really liked it and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
He had never performed CPR on an actual human before, but Bailer told The Westaskiwin Times when he saw his stepdad in distress he went into autopilot.
“I saw him on the floor and my training kicked in,” he told the newspaper.
Due to his efforts, Bailer's stepdad has made a full recovery and was able to be with him at the London award ceremony.
Her Majesty meets outstanding Royal Life Saving Society volunteers, from UK, Kenyan, Australian, Malaysian branches and many more - all who are committed to #drowningprevention and life saving skills #RLSS125 The Queen also presented the King Edward VII Cup to Professor John Pearn for lifelong contribution to researching the science of #drowningprevention. The #RussellAward went to Royal Life Saving trained lifeguard Tyler Bailer, aged 17 from Canada, whose CPR skills saved the life of his stepfather And Zac Dominic from St Lucia received the #MountbattenMedal for risking his own life to save the life of a man being dragged out to sea #RLSS125
The Russell Medal is awarded annually to a person under the age of 18 for the most outstanding resuscitation or attempted resuscitation in the past year.
Bailer described some nerves over meeting Her Majesty.
"Right before she walked up to me I thought ''Oh, I've really got the butterflies now,'" he told CBC News.
"But I just shook her hand, and just [tried to] think of her like a normal person. Just kind of have a normal conversation, although she's the Queen so it's kind hard of to do."
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