Many years ago when Master 8 was a bub, he stopped breathing.
Twice in the space of a couple of hours.
The first time he needed CPR to be revived, needing someone to pound on his little chest and breath life into his lungs, till he breathed on his own again and came round.
A couple of hours later, in the emergency department, he choked and stopped breathing again, needing life saving techniques to keep him going and prevent him from arresting.He had been unwell, and this episodes were a complication of his illness. A rare complication, but it could have happened a million different ways – drowings, choking, allergic response. The fact of the matter is that he died in my arms and needed to be resuscitated.
Lucky for this boy, he had people on had around him who knew CPR and other techniques and we saved his life at home, and again in the hospital. One of these people was me, and another was his grandparents, who were experienced in first aid and life saving techniques.
Obviously, my background is emergency nursing, and my mum was an ICU nurse.
But my dad drove trucks. And he was just as able to help Master 8 as any of us. And played just as big of a part as any of us. he Knew CPR, and had used those same techniques on ME as a baby, many times.
The question I ask and have often wondered since is: what would the outcome have been if none of us knew CPR?
The answer, I believe, is that he would have died, or have been seriously and permanently injured. At 10 months of age, through no fault of any ones, just a lack of knowledge and skills.
Move to the present time.
Master 8 is THAT boy, climbing trees, riding bikes and scooters. Not great at washing his face, excellent at science and maths. Kind, funny, independent as all hell.
Loves his brother, fart noises, basketball, singing the wrong lyrics to songs, Minecraft and his stuffed shark at night. He is one of 2 sources of my greatest joy.
None of this would be possible if we did not know CPR. I have always been a big supporter of skilling yourself up, of knowing basic first aid, of knowing what to do in an emergency.
Now, I also get to formally teach it. To grandmas, mums and dads, uncles and godparents. I take real mannequins, all the equipment and I teach it to the public, in their houses and in community centers. I get to teach these people what to do with burns, when to treat a fever, how to call 000 and what to say when you do, CPR and what to do if someone is choking.
It is great, an honour and I get to use my story, and my other special skills to give these people confidence, reassurance and life saving skills.
Now I get to pass my super power on and make an absolute difference, via ripple effect. I do this on top of my full time role as a nurse, because I believe in it and its importance.
Who knows whose life this changes, who knows what power these skills have, even if I never know the specifics, I KNOW I have made a difference teaching first aid to these people.
And maybe one day, it will be me or someone I love who is saved by someone who knew CPR.