PMB parents save son with CPR

2017-06-02 13:51
Scottsville parents Kelvin and Simone Abrahams with Netcare911 paramedic Gavin Botha at Pietermaritzburg Mediclinic after they worked together to save the Abrahams’ toddler Elijah’s life.

Scottsville parents Kelvin and Simone Abrahams with Netcare911 paramedic Gavin Botha at Pietermaritzburg Mediclinic after they worked together to save the Abrahams’ toddler Elijah’s life. (Chris Botha/Netcare911)

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“I thought my son was dead. When I picked him up, his lips were blue and his body was limp like a rag doll.”

This is what went through the mind of Scottsville mother Simone Abrahams after she found her two-year-old son floating lifelessly in the pool this past weekend.

The quick-thinking Scottsville couple, Simone and Kelvin Abrahams, saved their toddler Elijah’s life after initiating CPR on him while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Elijah fell into the pool at the couple’s home while riding his bicycle in the garden last Saturday.

Simone said she had gone to lie down after a “tough week”, leaving her two children, Elijah (2) and Kenna (6) watching cartoons in the lounge. “I was on my bed relaxing when Elijah came in and asked if he could play outside and I said yes.”

She said Elijah was terrified of the pool and always steered clear of it.

“I don’t know if I dozed off, but all of a sudden my daughter ran into the room and told me she saw Elijah floating in the pool.

“I ran outside and saw him in the pool, with his bicycle half in the water, and I grabbed him.

“I was holding him and screaming for help. I told my daughter to fetch my phone and one of my neighbours who is in her sixties scaled her fence to get into our yard and help.

“She told me to start pumping his chest and we both started working on him. Water kept coming out of his mouth and I wanted to stop because I thought I was hurting him, but my neighbour told me to carry on.”

Simone said she called her husband and told him their son had drowned and he needed to come home immediately.

“When my husband arrived, he took over and started doing CPR on our son. Everything was a blur from then on. I went into the house and started praying.”

Kelvin, who had completed a course in CPR, said when he arrived, he took one look at his son and thought he was dead.

“I started with the compressions and then did mouth to mouth and I saw his little chest rise.

“I was praying and still working on him when he finally gasped for air.”

He said after Netcare911 advanced life support paramedic Gavin Botha arrived, the rest “was a blur”.

“I asked Kelvin to carry on working on Elijah while I set up the heart monitor and the ventilator,” said Botha.

“By then, his heart was beating, it was slow but he was also trying to breathe on his own. We intubated him, put him on a drip and rushed him to Pietermaritzburg Mediclinic.”

“Now he has been taken off the ventilator and is breathing on his own, sitting up and doing very well,” said Simone.

The couple said Elijah is getting better every day. They thanked the hospital and Netcare911 for their dedication through the ordeal.

How to perform CPR

According to National Health Service (NHS) UK, CPR on adults should be done as follows:

• ADULTS

Place the heel of your hand on the centre of the chest, and the other hand on top and press down at a steady rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

After every 30 chest compressions, give two rescue breaths.

Tilt the person’s head and lift the chin up and pinch the person’s nose. Seal your mouth over their mouth and blow steadily and firmly into their mouth for about one second. Check that their chest rises. Give two rescue breaths.

Continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until they begin to recover or emergency help arrives.

• CHILDREN OVER ONE YEAR OLD

Open the child’s airway by placing one hand on the child’s forehead and tilting their head back and lifting the chin.

Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth and nose.

Pinch their nose. Seal your mouth over theirs and blow steadily, checking that their chest rises. Give five initial rescue breaths.

Place the heel of one hand on the centre of their chest and push down.

After every 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute, give two breaths.

Continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until they begin to recover or emergency help arrives. 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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