Last night the wife, kids and I returned home from a good evening swim. We washed the kids and turned 'em loose to play a while before bed. Shortly afterward I shouted at them to stop running around. Because it is usual for them to do that, I didn't really intervene -- just bellyache. I should have done more.
My son tripped and slammed into the closet door, and my wife was quick to scold my daughter for chaseing him around. While she was doing that, my son came into the kitchen. I looked at him only to realize that something was very wrong: he was staring at the ceiling with hist mouth agape in a silent scream. His face was contorted and white. Then he began reaching up to claw at his mouth.
I grabbed shoulders and said (yelled) "son, are you alright!" he kept staring and grabbing, then his eyes went out of focus and ceased to move around. He went limp, so I laid him on the floor. My wife was screaming, my daughter was crying and my little boy wasn't breathing. I told the wife to call 911 and to shut up (she was in a panic). I laid my ear to his mouth as I remembered that I had to check his breath. I placed my palm on his chest, and felt that his heart was beating hard and fast. My wife was shouting our address into the phone.
"Why isn't he breathing? is he as good as dead? is his head in the right position for a breath? how far in am I going to compress his chest, if his heart stops?" so many questions and no certainty.
I realized that he would need artificial respiration (AR), because his heart was still beating. But luckily I didn't even begin, because he started struggling to breath on his own just as I was placing his head in position.
I sat him up, propping his body against my leg, and started talking to him. He took a deep breath and started kicking, urinating all over the floor. Then he started screaming. The whole event last two minutes, maybe. May it never be repeated.
After a quick assessment to see if he knew where he was and what was happening I checked him over more carefully. Then we cancelled the ambulance, but didn't go to the hospital (although I wanted too). I didn't sleep well that night as I was checking on him every 20 minutes to make sure he was alright. He has a doctors appointment monday, just in case he has some condition that will make him prone to seizures.
It was definitely the most horrifying experience of my life.
What I want to say, to everyone, is that if you haven't had First Aid training of some kind, get it! If he hadn't started to breath, then what would have happened? What if I hadn't ever been taught anything at all, as I know is the case for most people? Would he then have died on my kitchen floor?!
Get some training, just in case you find yourself standing over a loved one -- or a friend or stranger.
FYI: Canada loves the universal health care, but it sure ain't free. No free ambulance, and a 12 hour wait in the ER for those that don't come by way of stretcher.