Rosie’s hero

Reading time: 3 min

“I only looked away for a moment!”

This is something professional swimming instructors hear repeatedly on the other side of a terrible accident. We also hear parents say that their baby – who has just started to crawl – plunged into the water before being taught to hold their breath and roll over to survive. Did you know that they could be taught survival skills at this age?

It was an ordinary morning when Baby Rosie (9 months) fell into the water – and it was a moment that changed the lives of both Rosie and her mom. Rosie went into severe stress immediately and the fight for her life began, with only moments to spare.

“Drowning is the number one leading cause of death in children between the ages of six months and four years.”

I knew she had inhaled water when I saw her little lips turn blue and foam came out of her nose and mouth. It was clear that Rosie was in trouble. I got her out the water as fast as I could and, thankfully, everything I had been taught in survival CPR instinctively kicked in.

Rosie lay there lifeless but I knew what I had to do. I summoned somebody to call an ambulance and began alternating compressions and breaths. Panic set in when there was no sign of life, but I knew that I was the best chance she had so I simply couldn’t give up.

After 14 minutes, Rosie’s pulse came back and she began to spit up the water – after more breaths and compressions, she began to cry. “Crying is breathing!” I shouted, and I saw the relief on her mom’s face when she saw her baby open her eyes and emergency services arrived. Rosie’s mom lay next to her telling her how much her mommy loved her.

Today I was Rosie’s guardian angel, but who am I? It doesn’t really matter because I knew what to do. Do you?

May is World Drowning Month

Did you know that babies as young as six months can learn to survive an aquatic accident with proper survival swim lessons? Drowning is the number one leading cause of death in children between the ages of six months and four years. Don’t let your child become a statistic.

Whether you’re a teacher, a friend or a stranger passing by, everyone should be able to deliver emergency CPR for without it many of us would not be alive.

This is a true story. Rosie’s swimming school instructors were taught CPR by Survival CPR. Visit www.survivalcpr.co.za to find out more about emergency CPR courses near you.

Also read:

Enjoy the water, play safe: The NSRI’s safety tips for the summer holidays
Sun, sea & safety