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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WARNING: It could happen to you. Would you know what to do?

Everything was fine.  We were almost through dinner when my cell phone rang.  The display said it was my oldest granddaughter calling.  I answered.

I couldn't really understand what she was saying... something about kitchen stool and choking.  She was crying so hard.  Dani asked for my prayers for Melody.  I heard that part.  Melody Lillian is my namesake... my fourth granddaughter; Dani's baby sister.  She will be three this December.

Melody had been running a slight fever.  The flu had been passing through the family.  A couple of weeks ago, the family doctor had told Dani that he thought her symptoms were probably from the H1N1 virus.  Now it was Melody's turn.  Daddy stayed home from work to be with her.

Mommy had just walked through the door from work.  Melody was sitting on the kitchen stool having her temperature checked.  What happened next is a blur...  They had been eating candy and Melody had a sucker in her hand when Mommy came in the room.  Melody started to get up from the stool, but suddenly collapsed into a seizure on the floor.  She stopped breathing and began turning blue!

The immediate thought was that she had choked on some candy.  Mommy had taken a first aid course years ago, but didn't remember much of it.  Dani, however, had recently completed a first aid/CPR course.  It was required for her nursery job at their church.  She performed the Heimlich on Melody.  No candy popped out, but Melody did start breathing again.

Meanwhile, Daddy had been on the phone summoning the paramedics.  As soon as the ambulance arrived, Dani called me to have me pray for her sister.

Hubby and I jumped in the car and headed for Middletown.  We went to the hospital first.  Melody was running a very high fever.  She didn't want to take her medicine for the nurse.  I said, "I bet she'll take it for Papaw."  The nurse handed him the medicine cup.  Papaw gave it to Melody and she drank it down.  Our job there was done.

Dani told me that she had been unhappy about the first aid course.  It fell on her birthday and lasted for hours.  She never thought about needing it for her own sister.  Now she is so glad she took it!  Who knows how this might have ended otherwise.

It turns out that Melody has the flu.  A fever of over 104* was probably the cause of the seizure.  She was released from the hospital tonight and is resting well at home.

We hear so much about flu prevention.  Everybody's running to the store for hand sanitizers and other items to help combat the virus.  But what about training?  All the hand sanitizer in the world wasn't going to make Melody breath!

I hope that everyone that reads this story will think about signing up for a First Aid/CPR course.  Most people live far enough from a firehouse or emergency center that, before help would arrive, permanent brain damage could occur in someone that had stopped breathing.  Sure, the 911 operators are trained to talk you through life-saving procedures; but wouldn't it make you feel more confident knowing you had been trained to perform them.  Your child's life could depend on it.  Please, think about it...


Historical sites with charmine said...

How terrible!Glad Melody's doing ok now.It's good to know some first aid though!At least Dani had the presence of mind.

Ziggy Stardust said...

What an excellant post. I am so glad that she is ok now. A lesson for all can be learned from this, it is really good of you to share it. She is a cutie.


SquirrelQueen said...

I'm glad to hear Melody is well and everything worked out for the best.

I taught First Aid and CPR for just over ten years in Georgia and Alaska, I trained over 2,000 people in that time. It is something everyone should take and also renew periodically. In AK many of my students were Ski Patrol and Fire Dept. so I'm pretty sure they had to use their training.

This was an excellent post, thanks for sharing and spreading the word.


Anonymous said...

A person who is not breathing will die in 4 minutes. A person in cardiac arrest, even quicker. A person can bleed to death in less than a minute.

Waiting for paramedics is not an option in those situations. Everyone should learn CPR and basic first aid. The life of someone you love might depend on it.

Hope Melody is feeling better. And give Dani a hug for saving her sister's life.


Lillian Robinson said...

I told Hubby last night that I'm going to try to get a class at church for young parents and anyone else that is interested. Jeff, let's do this... campaign to get a first aid course mandatory Jr High and High Schools! It's amazing how much stuff you learned back then comes back to you when you need it!