Young Life in Father's Hands

Young Life in Father's Hands

25 November 2014

Emergency first aid knowledge prevents family tragedy INSTEAD of unwrapping chocolate eggs and spending time with his five-year-old daughter on Easter Monday, 2008, former Mount Gambier man Miles Parkinson was fighting to save her life.

His knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) kept his daughter Briana alive while she was transported to hospital after collapsing.

Her heart was in fibrillation and she underwent around 40 minutes of CPR and six attempts with a defibrillator before a regular heart rhythm returned.

She spent nine days in intensive care and was diagnosed with catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) - a rare condition which causes the heart to beat too quickly and erratically.

Briana underwent an operation while in intensive care to have a pacemaker implanted and is required to take medication indefinitely.

She also requires an operation every seven years to replace the battery in her pacemaker.

It has been a long road to recovery for Briana, who suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen, leaving her unable to speak or move.

However, extensive rehabilitation has allowed her to make significant progress and lead a reasonably normal life.

Having recently accepted a St John Save A Life Award, Mr Parkinson urged everyone to undertake a first aid course so they were prepared for an emergency.

His proud Mount Gambier parents, Ross and Sue Parkinson, who have dedicated decades of service to the volunteer ambulance service, attended the St John Ambulance Australia South Australian awards ceremony, where their son's efforts were acknowledged.

Border Watch, Mt Gambier SA