Emer­gency ser­vices saved our wee girl

The Oban Times - - Letters -

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.

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