When four-week-old August’s heart suddenly stopped beating, his mother Elise Bufton leapt into action and started CPR.
Paramedics have praised the Melbourne mum for making the move as soon as she sensed something was wrong.
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The family were recently reunited with the Ambulance Victoria paramedics who came to their aid last year when the now 15-month-old August’s heart had stopped beating for more than 20 minutes.
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“I think it was about 22 minutes, by the time (of) the initial call (to) when we got a pulse back,” Ambulance Victoria clinic support officer James Abbott said.
“It really shows how important it is to learn CPR as you never know when you’ll need it. The outcome for August would have been very different if his mum hadn’t started compressions straight away.”
August’s (left) heart stopped beating on a family drive but thanks to his mum’s (right) actions, he’s made a full recovery. Credit: 7NEWS
The incident began as August was sitting in his car seat, on the way to his grandparent’s house, when he stopped breathing.
“He kind of cried himself to sleep about halfway along the journey, or so we thought,” August’s father Alan Forbes said.
But then August stopped crying, and Bufton realised something was wrong.
“He was a horrible kind of grey colour and looked like all the life had been sucked out of him,” Bufton said.
“That was quite horrible, because he was just flopping everywhere.
“That was probably the most traumatic part of the whole process.”
August was in the hospital for several weeks following his episode. Credit: 7NEWS
Bufton started CPR with the help of a passerby, until paramedics arrived and took over.
Paramedics rushed him to the Royal Children’s Hospital, successfully reviving him en route.
August was in a coma for four days following the incident, and there were serious concerns about how he would recover.
But then, one day, a finger squeeze brought hope.
“I was holding on to his little hand and that little finger squeeze was just incredible,” Bufton said.
Three weeks later, Bufton and Forbes took their son home.
“We probably wouldn’t have him with us today if it wasn’t for (the paramedics),” Bufton said.
“We’re unbelievably grateful.”
August is now meeting all his milestones, and was recently reunited with the paramedics who helped save his life. Credit: 7NEWS
Despite initial concerns, August is now meeting all his milestones and there is no sign of any brain damage.
“He’s just a miracle,” Forbes said.
“We don’t understand what happened, we don’t understand why.”
Ambulance Victoria urges everyone to learn CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and to refresh their knowledge of these skills regularly.
-With Christie Cooper
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