Emergency services saved our wee girl
Sir, On Friday June 17, our daughter choked on artificial snow.
We had bought this before Christmas, thinking it would be fun. It is a fine powder, that, when in contact with moisture, expands to 100 times its original size.
We never used it and forgot about it. Our daughter found it. We presume she may have thought it was some kind of sweet or sherbet and she poured it into her mouth. Most of it went into her stomach but what was in her throat expanded and completely obstructed her airway.
What happened next will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Our son saw his sister first and shouted for us. When we saw our daughter, the panic she had on her face struck total and utter fear into us.
My husband frantically tried to get her to cough it up as I phoned an ambulance. After speaking to ambulance control, we had to do CPR on our own daughter.
Two people from outside, who happened to be trained first responders, heard our screams and came into our house and took over until the paramedics arrived.
The two-person team who arrived were without doubt the most outstanding people we have ever come across.
They did as they were trained to do, we know that, but we are sure that had they not taken the actions they did, had they not carried them out in the order they did and had they not made the split-second decisions they did, then we would not now be back home as a family with our daughter healthy and back to herself.
The paramedics were Amy and Will. I am sorry I have not had the chance to find out your surnames.
Will, who does not normally work in this area but was here providing cover, led the entire situation. He worked and worked and didn’t give up or stop for a second and all the time he managed to talk to us about what he was doing, what was happening and talk to our daughter too, telling her to hang on.
When they arrived she had completely stopped breathing and to us was lifeless. It is hard to think about the time frame, but it seemed like a long time that they were working on her. It all happened on her bedroom floor.
The image will stay in our minds for a very long time, but so will the memory of this man and woman, fighting to save her life.
On arrival at Oban hospital, there was a room full of people were waiting for her.
We didn’t have to wait for anyone, even the anaesthetist who had been called in from annual leave, was there.
We knew that the helicopter retrieval team were on their way for her. Edwina and Tim in A&E were wonderful, to say the least, Edwina continually updating us to what was going on as we waited in a room for what seemed like the longest time. Thankfully, and that word doesn’t do justice to our feelings, our little girl responded so well that she did not need to be transferred out. We got to go and see her and, after one night in the ward, we were able to take her home.
The ward staff overnight and again the next day were wonderful, taking time to chat to us and to our girl. They offered tea and comfort and all the things that they do every day in their job mean the world when you are on the other side. Kirsteen, the nurse with lovely shoes, a fantastic laugh and full of kindness, is worth her weight in gold.
We are sorry that we have forgotten some names but our heartfelt thanks to all, Brian, the porter, the domestic staff, the auxiliary staff, Tim and Edwina, all the nursing staff, the medical staff, Gilly the ANP, Dr Fiona Johnson, Dr Houston, the doctor called Hanna who was in A&E, the male doctor who came in to see us in the ward that evening – you made us smile.
Ultimately, in a time when the NHS comes in for a lot of criticism, we want to shout loud that we had absolutely outstanding care when we needed it desperately. They were fast, accurate, and truly outstanding.
We have two heroes now. Our very brave son of nine, who alerted us at the beginning and watched the whole scene, and Will, the paramedic.
Without both of you, the outcome would have been so awfully different.
Will, we absolutely believe you were the difference in the outcome.
Without your actions, we would be in very different place today and we will be grateful and thankful to you for the rest of our days.
The words thank you and grateful don’t seem enough to express our gratitude. Thank you all once again. Mark and Jan Roberts, Corran Esplanade, Oban.