The difficult choice between resuscitation and letting go

Helen Cowan
November 2017

Coming back to lifeWhen I was a toddler, I choked on a boiled sweet. I became silent and turned purple. My quick-thinking mother (a carer for children with learning disabilities) picked me up by my feet, sharply slapped my back, and the sweet came flying out. I was one of the lucky ones and didn't need CPR; 2-year-old Francis Dean choked to death on a hard-boiled lollipop (Bunyan, 2009). In fact, 5051 people died from choking in 2015 (National Safety Council, 2017). When someone is choking, the need for CPR can rapidly develop (St Johns Ambulance, 2015).As a University student, I suffered a grand mal seizure and stopped breathing. My mother came to the rescue again, administering CPR before the ambulance arrived. It happened in Singapore, I received first-class hospital treatment but it did rather interfere with the holiday of a lifetime.During a college firework party, the crowd rushed back to avoid a rocket headed in their direction. I was crushed under a heap of people at the bottom of a garden pond on a cold November evening. Adrenaline, not my mother, resuscitated me that time.

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