ffs breathe…

I am for some reason reminded of an event shortly after my daughter Vicky was born. I was 18, she was three months old. We took her to the doctors during the day for an examination. She was off colour, had a temperature and could not swallow easily. The doctor told us it was just a cold. Gave us an aspirin and told us to go home. We did.

Around 6pm that night, she stopped breathing. And went blue. I ran to a neighbours’ phone and called an ambulance. My feet didn’t touch the ground. When I got back, my wife had taken the not recommended step of flipping her upside down and bouncing her, nothing else having worked (this was her fifth, she knew her way around kids). A horrible sound heralded the returning breath and wide eyed panic of the terrified baby. The parents were not much better, it has to be said.

When the ambulance arrived, they took one look and tubed her on the spot before putting her and the mother into the ambulance and heading off with sirens. Only one passenger allowed: I ran to the hospital, 4 miles away. I found my baby in an oxygen tent. She had an abscess on her epiglottis which blocked her throat. The doctor, somehow, missed it. Bouncing the upside down baby actually saved her life by popping that sucker right back up out of her throat. The prompt tubing by the ambulance crew stopped it flopping back.

The doctors lanced it, baby stayed there for three days until the antibiotics killed the infection and she could come home.

That was the first time I helped save a family life. It was not the last.

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