WATCH: A 16-year-old girl is being called a hero after using her naloxone kit to save a stranger who was overdosing. Now, she is inspiring others to get the same life-saving training. Isabelle Raghem reports.
Kim Toombs, a harm reduction counsellor for Aids Vancouver Island (AVI), says everyday people walk into their building at 713 Johnston Street to learn how to use a naloxone kit.
“It is very safe, they’re no prescription needed for it. That’s why we’re able to train people quickly and safely,” Toombs explains. “Everybody across the community has been asking for training like on mass.”
Sixteen-year-old Rayne Thompson picked up a kit and received training from AVI Saturday. Little did she know, she would be using the kit a few hours later.
“I mean you can never be too safe right, so I brought one around and luckily I did,” said Thompson on Sunday.
Thompson was walking along with a friend near View Street near Quadra Saturday evening when she noticed a group in distress.
“We saw people were huddled behind [a] little dumpster,” she explains. “We saw there was a person there not breathing.”
Friends of the young man on the ground told Thompson he had taken heroin and was overdosing.
She says he had been unconscious for about five minutes. In a panic, none of the friends had yet called for help. That’s when Thompson called 911 and went to action, pulling out a naloxone kit.
After a total of six naloxone injections, the stranger began to breathe.
“I felt all that tension off my shoulders. At least this person is breathing, right?”
On Monday, hundreds of people posted on social media calling Thompson a hero. Some were inspired to get the same life-saving training.
“It really is amazing to hear stories like that,” says Toombs, “you can actually save a life that way carrying a kit gives you the confidence to do that and taking the training can give you that confidence.”
The B.C. government has posted a list of community pharmacies on Vancouver Island where kits and training are offered.
A training certificate is also online before picking up a kit in person.