health

How a thoughtful supermarket cashier eased this young girl's panic attack.

Helen Martin’s daughter, Cordie, has suffered panic attacks ever since she was a small child.

Loud noises, alarms and large, busy environments trigger immense distress in the now-nine-year-old.

So when the lights dipped inside a local Sainsbury’s supermarket recently, Helen knew her little girl’s anxiety was about to take hold.

“Immediately [Cordie] started panicking as she thought an alarm was about to go off,” the British mother wrote on the store’s Facebook page. “She wanted to run and got extremely upset.”

The cashier noticed the young girl’s distress and came to her aid.

“She came around the checkout and asked my daughter to help her scan the shopping, coaxed her into her seat whilst we dried her tears and completely distracted her by letting her scan all the food,” wrote Helen.

“I cannot tell you how much this meant to me and my daughter. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion that she managed to turn such a negative experience into such a lovely one.”

[fbEmbed_url=”https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154352940801864&set=o.90229869376&type=1&theater” ]

Were it not for this woman, who has since been identified as ‘Tina’, the situation could have proven a lot worse.

A few years ago, Cordie was in the supermarket with her father when a fire-alarm test was performed.

“It took two years to get her to go back into Sainsbury’s and even now we have to ask if there are any schedule alarms before she will venture around the store,” Helen wrote.

Since Helen praised Tina’s thoughtful gesture on social media, the story has been shared around the world.

cashier saves girl from panic attack
Tina and Cordie. Image: Facebook.
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"Which means in Cordie's words 'I don't need to go to school now as I'm famous'," Helen wrote on Facebook.

She and her daughter have also had the chance to return to the store and thank the woman who showed them such kindness.

"Tonight Cordie and I went to say a big thank you to the lovely Tina who was so kind to us yesterday," she wrote.

"She was overwhelmed by the feedback she has received and has become quite a celebrity at work... As you can imagine Cordie is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame."

Listen: Mia Freedman explains how she alleviates her anxiety symptoms.