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Proactive Parent saves her precious son's life

Updated: Aug 5, 2019


My husband Mike and I have been married for almost 4 years and have a beautiful 8 month old son, Camden. We have recently moved to Brisbane from Canberra and are thoroughly enjoying the lifestyle and sunshine as well as being new parents to a very active and happy little boy.

While I was pregnant with Camden, I would often worry, as I'm sure most new parents do, about how i would know what to do when he was born. How do I look after a baby? What if he falls? chokes? drowns? Is bitten by a snake? (crazy I know!) I would read nightmare stories on social media about febrile seizures, and secondary drownings which would add to my anxiety. I would think to myself, I should do a first aid course. I should be better equipped, if only to ease my anxieties, but it was too hard. It was just something else to add to a long list of things to do before the baby is born and where would i even start? As fate would have it, we attended the Brisbane Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo in June last year and met lovely Rachael at the Tiny Hearts stand. Inspired by Rachael's enthusiasm, we booked our tickets that day and attended the inaugural Tiny Hearts Brisbane course the following week. That decision may have saved our sons life.


On the day of the incident, Mike and I were preparing lunch in the kitchen, with my sister and brother-in-law. Camden was in his chair with us, gnawing on a large apple wedge. He was teething and enjoyed the relief that the cold apple gave to his gums. I noticed that Camden suddenly went red and eyes were watery. I gave him a quick tap on the back while still in his chair. He took a quick breath, smiled and seemed to be OK. I didn't think much of it at the time as it wasn't unusual for him to cough or grunt whilst he was getting used to eating or drinking different tastes and textures of new food. Seconds later, my brother in law yelled that he was choking.

Camden was red, his eyes bright blue, red and bulging. His tongue was out and he was leaned forward in his chair gagging/choking. A parents worst nightmare. Immediately I pulled him out of his chair, placed him face down across my forearm as best as i could while standing, and gave him a swift hard blow to his back. A piece of apple flew out with force to the floor, and thankfully he was OK.

Looking back on it now, while, everyone a bit stunned over what had just happened, I don't think i really felt it until later, perhaps I was in shock. It wasn't until that afternoon that my adrenalin kicked in. My legs would go to jelly whenever I thought about it and I couldn't help but think over and over, what if? I don't recall thinking about what I had to do at the time. My response was automatic.

I cannot recommend enough for new and existing parents and grandparents to complete a baby first aid course. I hope that no parent ever has to use the skills that are taught within the course, but we did and had we not have been proactive on that Sunday morning, we may be telling a different story today. As new parents, we read books, blogs, watch videos and seek advice from friends and family to prepare for the birth of the baby, why not spend just 3.5 hours to learn how to save their life?

The above photographs are of Melanie and her beautiful boy Camden on Easter just past. We applaud and thank her for sharing her very intimate yet important story with us and the rest of our readers.

#choking #firstaid #infantfirstaid #proactiveparent #choke

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