Dunsborough woman thanks volunteers who saved her from a bee sting

Jenny Howe with Maria Bergstrom and John Fuller at the Dunsborough St Johns sub-centre.
Jenny Howe with Maria Bergstrom and John Fuller at the Dunsborough St Johns sub-centre.

Maria Bergstrom was all smiles when she met up with the two St Johns Ambulance Volunteers who saved her life in April. 

Ms Bergstrom was picking grapes by hand at her winery when a bee flew up and got stuck under her cap, where it stung her scalp.

Having been stung by bees before, she initially wasn’t too worried.

“I didn’t realise I was allergic, I have been stung before and never reacted badly,” she said.

“I drove back to the house and started to feel really unwell.

“I made it in and tried to get to the first aid book I keep on my refrigerator before I collapsed.”

Luckily, winery worker Mike Pannell was there and called for the ambulance.

When St Johns Volunteer Ambulance officers Jenny Howe and John Fuller arrived, Ms Bergstrom was having difficulty breathing.

They immediately jumped into action giving Ms Bergstrom two epipens and a nebulizer to help her breathe, before getting her into the ambulance and heading off to the Busselton Hospital. 

“We gave her the first epipen straight away but ended up giving her another one as it didn’t seem to be working, her reaction was quite severe,” Ms Howe said.

Mr Fuller said they were glad to see Mrs Bergstrom was looked much better by the time they pulled up to the hospital.

Ms Bergstrom met up with the volunteers on Monday, June 19 and presented them with a gift.

“I’ve been meaning to come down and say thank you to the two of them, they are amazing and I am so grateful,” Ms Bergstrom said. 

South West Regional Manager Nicolle Warren said it was important to recognise the amazing effort of all the volunteers.

“Jenny and John have been working together for years, they are an amazing team,” Ms Warren said.

“Our volunteers put in hundreds and hundreds of hours, helping those in need. If we didn’t have the sub-centre here in Dunsborough, we would have to rely on Busselton paramedics. We are really lucky to have such amazing volunteers down here.

“We are always looking for more volunteers and encourage everyone who is interested to apply should go online and see if they can get involved.”

Ms Warren also encouraged the community to take the St John’s first responder course as well as the management of anaphylaxis course.

“Knowing how to react in these situations can make all the difference while you are waiting for an ambulance to arrive,” she said.

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