Miracle boy David on the road to recovery

Little David fighting for his life in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. He is now making a full recovery

A YOUNG mother whose son started choking after eating peanuts during a weekend visit to Kerry saved his life by performing CPR at the scene before he was rushed to hospital.

Grace Healy and her family were enjoying a short break with her husband Philip’s family in early July when her two-year-old son, David, inhaled a large mouthful of nuts and suddenly started coughing and choking. She immediately slapped him several times on the back but he still couldn’t breathe so she started chest compressions.

“He went completely limp and unresponsive. I knew there was something blocking his airway and the only thing I could think of was mouth-to-mouth to push it down into his lungs as it wasn’t coming out,” said Grace who is a qualified nurse working in Cork.

After commencing CPR, the colour started returning to her little boy’s face after close on three minutes and he was brought to University Hospital Kerry but his condition deteriorated and David was transferred to Crumlin’s Children’s Hospital.

David was initially treated at University Hospital Hospital before being rushed to Dublin

An air ambulance wasn’t available so the emergency journey was undertaken by ambulance with a pediatrician, an anesthetist and a nurse on board but, on arrival, it was discovered there was no air entering into one of his lungs and the two-year-old was rushed to theatre where medics battled to save his life.

“(The surgeon) told us that it was the most difficult case in his entire 23 years of surgery and that they nearly lost him many times in theatre. He just kept repeating how lucky he was to survive,” said Grace who said the surgeons found four whole peanuts and other peanut fragments in David’s left lung.

The little boy spent 15 days and nights in intensive care and had another serious episode requiring further major surgery but, thanks to the expert care in Crumlin, he was soon breathing again without assistance and is now out of hospital and recovering extremely well.

Grace said she was reluctant to go public with her story but she has decided to so to encourage more parents and others to learn CPR.

She told KillarneyToday.com: “I am happy to raise awareness of CPR and the dangers of peanuts by sharing my story.”

The relieved mum said: “David would not have made it past Kerry if I wasn’t there. I didn’t save his life – CPR did. Please, please learn CPR and keep your skills updated. It could make the difference to your child or somebody else’s child’s life,” she said.

Grace added that her family is so grateful to the wonderful staff in the children’s hospital in Crumlin who saved David’s life many times.

She is currently planning a fundraising drive for Crumlin and she hopes that people support the hospital whenever they get the chance.

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