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The night my father died.


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#1 smakme7757

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 03:08 AM

Quite a few of you know I live overseas, all the way in Norway for those that don't.

Two months ago we flew out to Australia to see the family. We fly out every 2 years, although it's been more frequent now my grandparents are getting older. I'm by no means a "family guy", but I do appreciate the time I can spend with my mum, dad, brother and grandparents when we visit. We stayed with mum and dad this time.

Unfortunately this trip didn't turn out as planned. On a Monday night, about 4 days after we arrived, at approximately 03:40 am, mum came in screaming that something was wrong. Dad was dead. No pulse, no breathing - Just dead.

I started CPR immediately. Having had no formal CPR training I had to wing it for 12 minutes until the ambulance arrived. I was so calm I felt absolutely at ease while doing CPR on my father. I have no idea why. Maybe it was the adrenaline or focusing on the task at hand. I was practically emotionless. It didn't sink in that dad was dead until after the ambos arrived and got to work. It was then, looking at dad on the floor that I got this intense feeling that he was gone. I was certain he wasn't going to live through this.

  • Dad had a cardiac arrest.
  • Wasn't breathing for nearly 20 minutes
  • No self sustained pulse for over 20 minutes
  • What's the chance we were there when it happened. We visit once every two years.

They did however get a pulse and after much debate wether or not they should chance it, they got him to hospital. After 3 days in a coma and 1 week in hospital he was discharged with broken ribs. He survived. I was almost certain he was going to die. I thought no way anyone can survive being dead so long. I was wrong. Thankfully.

I guess the morale is, don't give up. Just keep up CPR until help arrives. I'll admit that after about 10 minutes I thought it was all over. I'm glad I just kept going!

 

*Credit to my wife who called 000 and made sure the ambos found our place,

*Credit to mum for keeping a cool head and getting all dads info on his medications when the ambos arrived.

*Credit to the 000 operator who was very good at his job!

*Credit to everyone at the hospital for acting very professionally

 

While he was in a coma I read lots of articles about out of hospital cardiac arrest. Almost everything pointed to heavy brain damamge or death. around 90% of people who have cardiac arrest never make it to hospital. Of those 10% that do only 20% of those actually make it out of hospital alive with varying degrees of disfunction. So he was extrmely lucky.


Edited by smakme7757, 03 December 2014 - 03:14 AM.


#2 Cybes

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 03:24 AM

Shit like that is what makes people believe in miracles, dude.  Utterly amazing that he's still here at all, and a complete freak that he's able to talk to you about it.  Damn fine job there, smak!


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#3 Mac Dude

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 07:20 AM

Well done you, and thanks for posting it for us.

The ability to act quickly and appropriately when a loved one is in danger isn't always that easy but it can be the difference between life and death.

I've also been in a situation where a loved one (at the time my toddler son) Stopped breathing for a few minutes. Like you and your family people just 'did stuff', and we also ended up with a living relative :) However once we were at the hospital a friendly Ambon was telling us about all the similar situations that don't end up that way.

Acting fast is the key.

I was curious to find that the incident would revisit me every now and then in the following years and sometimes without an obvious trigger. You be driving along and find tears running down your face as the other possible outcome enters your mind.

Anyway, your story has been (another) reminder that I need to do some form of official cpr training !
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#4 chrisg

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 07:35 AM

What an amazing story, kudos to you for not giving up.

 

CPR really is something that everyone should know how to perform those minutes before the paras arrive are so critical.

 

Cheers


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#5 smakme7757

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 08:00 AM

Well done you, and thanks for posting it for us.

The ability to act quickly and appropriately when a loved one is in danger isn't always that easy but it can be the difference between life and death.

I've also been in a situation where a loved one (at the time my toddler son) Stopped breathing for a few minutes. Like you and your family people just 'did stuff', and we also ended up with a living relative :) However once we were at the hospital a friendly Ambon was telling us about all the similar situations that don't end up that way.

Acting fast is the key.

I was curious to find that the incident would revisit me every now and then in the following years and sometimes without an obvious trigger. You be driving along and find tears running down your face as the other possible outcome enters your mind.

Anyway, your story has been (another) reminder that I need to do some form of official cpr training !

 

It really is just so important to stay as calm as possible. I can't imagine how my wife and I would react if something like that happened to our daughter. Really nice to hear everything went well with your son.

 

I experience the flashbacks as well. Like you i don't really have an immediate "trigger", but i think it's just the gravity of the scenario which makes it something you live with forever. At least for people who don't come into contact with these types of emergencies on a daily basis.



#6 scruffy1

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 08:18 AM

you did good; his survival is more than miraculous given the odds associated with a good outcome in "out of hospital" arrest

 

the fact that he is still the same person is a major miracle


ummmmmmmmmmm............


#7 codecreeper

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 08:36 AM

Sometimes those things in life we think like CPR are useless are never used but in your occasion it was a Life Saver. Good Job and i hope your Father recovers Well enough to enjoy Xmas.


Life is like a Straw , ...... it sucks.

 

 


#8 Director

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 09:07 AM

Geez, that was tense.....

 

Did he have an NDE? 


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#9 CptnChrysler

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 11:47 AM

Smakme - Sounds like you were in the right place at the right time AND had the courage to do what needed doing.

To keep him oxygenated for 12mins with no pulse is an amazing feat. I congratulate you.


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#10 tastywheat

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 12:10 PM

Holy crap! This was not the story I was expecting when I saw the title.  Very glad to hear your Dad is ok, what a crazy life event.

 

CPR training these days really encourages people to just 'give it a go', even if they're not confident.  Though it sounds like you had a reasonable understanding of the process, I think this story is a testament to that ethos.  Your Dad is a very lucky man.


Edited by tastywheat, 03 December 2014 - 12:11 PM.


#11 komuso

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 12:43 PM

What everyone else said!

#12 elvenwhore

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 01:17 PM

That's truly amazing. Well done to you and your family for Getting Things Done that night. 

A truly remarkable feat.

 

 

CPR training these days really encourages people to just 'give it a go', even if they're not confident.  

Yeah, that's what I was told when I did my Senior First Aid cert (St. John's) - they removed all the breath and compression ratios and simplified the process because they found people were too intimidated to attempt CPR; afraid to even start it lest they get the number of somethings wrong. And hesitation isn't anybody's friend in significantly stressful situations like that.


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#13 Betzie

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 02:59 PM

Wow, very lucky and must feel surreal, just goes to show. Never give up till the ambos arive..

 

 

Having seen 2 people loose their life suddenly and tragically the emotion is put on hold for a good while, make sure you take the time to discuss with a loved one or counsellor. Very close call you had

 

All the best :]


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#14 smakme7757

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 06:39 PM

Geez, that was tense.....

 

Did he have an NDE? 

No he didn't actually.

 

He did joke with us though. When we asked he started with: "Yes, i remember a bright light.....Nah got nothin"

 

He doesn't remember the day before the cardiac arrest at all. He remembers something things that happened a few days before it. Like picking us up from the airport.

 

He was delirius for 48 hours after waking up. Which was both scary and funny depending on how he was acting. He had massive mood swings. He thought he was being held against his will and worked for the CIA. After he came back down to earth, he was his old self again.

 

He has massive restrictions on his diet now, which will be tough. Only 1.5 litres of fluid a day. Water, fruit, gravy ect. No salt, no smoking, no drinking etc. It will be tough, but he hasn't taken care of his health in recent years, so i guess it's for the best. At least he gets the opportunity to soldier on.



#15 .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 06:43 PM

Nice work! A good reminder to anyone yet to learn CPR.


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#16 eveln

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 07:20 PM

Far out. Lovely out come.


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#17 AccessDenied

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 02:46 PM

Bleeding heck.  When I learnt CPR, they did the x compressions, y breaths, but we were being trained by a paramedic whose message was "This is what we teach, but the more important part is just to do it.  Just start, worry about counting later.  If you're not sure, just compressions and give a breath if you think about it"

 

AD


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#18 eveln

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 07:01 PM

I have been wondering why the limit on fluids ... " Only 1.5 litres of fluid a day." ... it's just that I can easily put away

7 or 8 litres of water a day. I spend a bit peeing, but I am well flushed through :P


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#19 chrisg

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 07:23 PM

Can be a number of things Eveln, my wife has a cardiac problem that leads to fluid retention, so could well be to control that aspect.

 

Cheers


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#20 Betzie

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 07:25 PM

I have been wondering why the limit on fluids ... " Only 1.5 litres of fluid a day." ... it's just that I can easily put away

7 or 8 litres of water a day. I spend a bit peeing, but I am well flushed through :P

 

I'm guessing smakme's father had a trigger for the HA, I'd be doing whatever the docs say after a jammer


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