Onslow res­i­dent’s near-death shock

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

An Onslow res­i­dent is count­ing her lucky stars she was in the com­pany of two peo­ple with first aid knowl­edge af­ter a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence.

Jim Reid was vis­it­ing his mate and land­lord Jenny Whit­more on Au­gust 5 when she col­lapsed, suf­fer­ing from a car­diac ar­rest.

Mr Reid and Mrs Whit­more’s hus­band Graeme, a for­mer St John Am­bu­lance vol­un­teer, put their first aid skills to work, ap­ply­ing CPR while wait­ing for the am­bu­lance to ar­rive.

Mrs Whit­more said the leadup to the in­ci­dent had been noth­ing more than a nor­mal day chew­ing the fat with a few mates. “We were just sit­ting around out­side with some friends hav­ing a drink,” she said.

“I stood up to show Jim some­thing and just felt the room spin and go black, white and grey.

“I held the door frame and that was it, that was me over and done with. “I col­lapsed in the house.” Mrs Whit­more said she was lucky this had hap­pened with peo­ple around her who knew what to do.

Mr Reid said he first thought Mrs Whit­more had seen a snake, but quickly re­alised she was in trou­ble.

“When she fell for­ward and head-butted the ta­ble, I just thought ‘that ain’t right’,” he said. “So I leaped up, re­alised she wasn’t breath­ing straight away, and couldn’t feel a pulse.”

Af­ter be­ing taken to Onslow Hos­pi­tal, Mrs Whit­more was trans­ferred to Perth by the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice for fur­ther treat­ment.

Onslow com­mu­nity para­medic Katie Evans said the quick re­sponse likely saved Mrs Whit­more’s life.

“Ide­ally we would like to be on-scene as soon as some­one has a car­diac ar­rest but it’s just not pos­si­ble,” she said.

“To have peo­ple on-scene do­ing first aid such as CPR is the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death.

“While CPR is fan­tas­tic, the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­enced a sig­nif­i­cant down­time, so she was quite crit­i­cal once we got her to Onslow Hos­pi­tal.”

Ms Evans said learn­ing first aid skills could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death for a loved one.

Mr Reid has since done a re­fresher course run by the Onslow sub cen­tre to brush up his skills.

“If you are in that sit­u­a­tion, you don’t know what to do, and things take a turn for the worse, you would be left feel­ing guilty you couldn’t help,” he said.

“I am happy that hav­ing a bit of knowl­edge saved me from hav­ing that life­time of re­gret.”

First aid cour­ses are run reg­u­larly by lo­cal St John Am­bu­lance sub cen­tres.

Pic­ture: St John Am­bu­lance

An­drew Price, Jim Reid, Jenny and Graeme Whit­more, Renae Coates and Katie Evans.

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