Goodness, it’s been about 7 months since I last wrote and I never thought that this would be the topic that would be my first post back.
My Dad turned 60 on the 16th October, the whole family flew to Fiji to celebrate and had the most amazing adventure. When we returned, my Mum had surprised him with a new red Mustang (his favourite car) in the drive way and then the night after they returned, I had organised a Surprise 60th for him with his closest friends and family.
Dad had caught a bug in Fiji so had the runs for about 2 days straight so when we told him we were going to dinner as a Family to celebrate he wasn’t too keen but decided he felt ok and got ready. He arrived and had no idea what we’d planned which was brilliant and he went on to have a really great night. I had booked us an apartment close to where the party was so that he could have a few drinks (which he didn’t because he felt awful) and then it was close to get home – his close mate and wife stayed with us also.
The morning after the party we woke for a chat and coffee in the apartment before deciding on a spot for breakfast and packing up our gear. The 5 of us went down in the lift to the carpark, we stepped out and my dad muttered “Oh WOW!”, placed the bags he was holding on the ground and gently laid himself on the floor. My Dad is a bit of a joker so I told him to ‘stop mucking around and get up’. Then I noticed his eyes, completely glassed over and he was non-responsive. I went in to panic mode, screaming, crying, not knowing what to do. I dialled 000 and his good mate started CPR – and did so for 15 minutes until the Ambulance officers arrived. He had suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. 95% of people who suffer an SCA, do not make it.
Seeing my Dad turn a shade of blue/purple, froth at the mouth and to be blunt ‘dead’, was the most horrific thing I have experienced/seen, and I’m sure my Mum would agree. I felt so helpless. I phoned my Brothers telling them to hurry up because I don’t think Dad was going to make it.
The ambo’s arrived and had to shock him three times to bring him back to life. Seeing my Dad alert, although out of it was a feeling and sensation I will always remember. It was the best thing to see his eyes open, and of course, the most amazing man that he is he straight away apologised to Mum and I like he did something wrong.
I hope I never have to experience, see, feel or hurt the way I did that day but I am also absolutely grateful my Dad is still with me today. I struggled with the fact I nearly lost my Father at 24.
There were a few things I learnt in this situation:
– EVERYONE needs to do a CPR course, you never know when you may need to use it.
– My Family is the most amazing, strong and loving unit
– Our Family friends are just wonderful
– Ambulance Officers, Nurses and specialists are very special humans
– Don’t take any day or any one for granted, you have no idea what’s round the corner.
It was hard for the Family too because they don’t know what caused it, still to this day they are stumped. They think it may have been a lack of potassium in his body which causes your organs to completely shut down and heart stop.
I still hate not knowing what caused it, but they inserted a Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator which will shock his heart if he ever goes back in to Ventricular Fibrillation which may never happen again, and for his sake, and ours, I hope it never does.
My Dad was only 60, relatively fit and is a very happy man and this still occurred without any indication and nearly took him from us. You never know what’s going to happen next, so live each day like it’s the last and love the people around you. Today, go and hug your loved ones that little bit tighter and tell them how you feel.
Until next time, and let’s hope next time isn’t another 7 months.