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Daughter gives her father the gift of life

November 17, 2016 | in Community

Recently retired Geelong resident Gerry McMahon had spent the day running around after his grandchildren when he sat down for a well-earned cup of tea with his wife and daughter.

His daughter, Claire, noticed Gerry spilt his tea and thought it was strange he didn’t react on that day in August 2016.

Gerry McMahon and paramedics

‘Dad is the first one to have a go at anyone making a mess on the carpet so when he didn’t react after making a mess I knew something wasn’t right,’ Claire said.

Suddenly Gerry fell on his side on the couch and Claire jumped into action. She had her mum call Triple Zero (000) and checked Gerry’s vital signs. Listening to the instructions from the 000 call taker she began CPR having never learnt any kind of first aid.

When paramedics arrived they witnessed Claire performing effective CPR and were able to shock Gerry with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to get his heart beating again.

MICA Paramedic Simon Richmond praised Claire for her actions in a very distressing situation.

‘To have Gerry talking before we reached the hospital is so rare for a cardiac arrest patient and this was helped by Claire’s quick thinking and willingness to step in and do what she could to save her dad,’ Simon said.

‘This is a great example of what Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry data is showing us – that bystander CPR significantly improves the chance of survival of the cardiac arrest event, and survival to hospital discharge.

‘The chain of survival was fortunately started early by the patient’s daughter. An early request for help, early CPR, and early defibrillation helped Gerry survive this event.’

Simon also praised the Geelong Hospital emergency and cardiology departments for quickly and expertly providing definitive treatment.

More than three months later after heart bypass surgery Gerry is up and about with his grandchildren and keeping fit trying to meet his 10,000 steps a day.

‘What Claire did that day is beyond words, I can’t thank her enough and it’s made us a closer family,’ Gerry said.

You can learn how to perform CPR in your own home through the 4 Steps for Life Plus self-education program.

To order your 4 Steps for Life Plus pack Call 1300 550 472 or email cpr@ambulance.vic.gov.au