Veteran broadcaster Duncan Garner has spoken frankly about how he reacted to his son choking when the pair were out at breakfast after a football game last weekend.
And his story comes as a warning to all parents of the need to be up-to-date with their first aid skills.
In his moving piece for Stuff, Garner writes of how he was having a late breakfast with his son to celebrate after a morning football game.
He recalls how six-year-old Buster, hungry from his early morning sports activity, ordered a big breakfast at a nearby café. The Saturday rush would mean a packed eatery, and their food was delayed for some time, Garner explains.
“Two eggs, sausages, bacon and mushrooms. It came with two bits of toast. The food seemed to take forever and he just got more impatient and hungrier.”
When the food finally arrived, Garner cut it up for his boy and being the newshound he is, returned to checking Twitter. He says his son’s silence told him right away something was wrong.
“This is how quickly a terrible thing can happen: Buster had fallen silent and I looked up to ask if he was OK. His eyes told the story. He was choking on a piece of bacon rind, desperately trying to clear it by swallowing.”
Garner says his first response was to whack his son on the back three times but this didn’t help. He says he was aware of Heimlich manoeuvre but wasn’t sure if this was still in practice.
In the end the quick-thinking journalist let his instinct guide him and he prised opened his son’s lips, put his fingers down his throat and removed the lodged bacon rind.
The seasoned professional now says he’s taking a first aid course because he wants to make sure he’s always prepared in the event of any medical emergency.
“All this can happen so quickly. You could be driving, on the sidelines at the rugby at work – anywhere. Life is so precious stay vigilant. Do a first aid course and be prepared.”
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