I watched as he walked from the car to the pathology clinic, request form in hand. It was a routine cholesterol check.
I watched in dismay as he collapsed holding onto the shop front as he fell.
I jumped from the car and ran to his aid. His legs had crumpled under him, his eyes were shut, he was motionless.
My first thought was to roll him onto his side, to check for vital signs, all my CPR training came back to me.
I shouted at him, no response, I felt for a pulse, no result, I rolled him onto his back looked into his face, there was nothing happening.
I could feel the adrenalin kicking in as I started CPR. Suddenly there were people around me, I cried out for someone to get help.
Thirty compressions, two breaths. Then again and again.
A person knelt beside me said they’d do the breaths, I kept up the compressions. A nurse from the pathology clinic came out said an ambulance was on the way. Within seconds I could hear the sirens. I prayed for them to hurry.
Then another person seeing my growing distress said they’d take over the compressions, and I moved away, sat beside him my mind in turmoil, what more can I do?
The ambulance arrived and took over. They had a defibrillator, I stood back, they checked his pulse, his eyes, called his name, asked me some details which I answered but I don’t remember what I said.
They had him on their gurney and in the back of their wagon, and I got in with him as the officer hooked him up to what they had to keep him alive during the trip to the hospital.
My mind was still in a daze, I could hear the sirens wailing, begging the traffic to get out of the way and give us a passage through.
At the hospital, medicine took over, and I was sent to sit and wait. A nurse came and asked me more questions, and again I mumbled something, I hoped it was articulate.
Beside me, a daughter appeared, asked what had happened.
I told her he collapsed, that I tried CPR until I couldn’t stand any longer. I was worried I too might collapse.
So together we waited. There wasn’t a lot to say as my mind was flooded with images of a small baby all those years ago struggling for life only to find it being repeated thirty years later.