Granny’s hold saves boy’s life

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A GRANNY who saved her three-year-old grandson’s life using the Heimlich Manoeuvre is advocating that it be taught to everyone.
Even though she learned the life-saving procedure several years ago, Stephanie Stuart, of Block 2G, The Ivy, St Michael, said everything she was taught came back to her in a flash when Machai swallowed a coin, started choking, and slipped into a semi-conscious state.


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Guardian Angel: Stephanie Stuart is happy her grandson is alive  (Nation News photo)

It all happened last Wednesday at about 9:45pm. Stuart said she was walking towards her friend’s bar in ‘The Ivy’ when she heard her daughter, who lived a short distance away, screaming “help! Help!”

“The first thing that went through my head was that somebody went to rob her or rape her. I ran to her and saw her holding my grandson in her hands and crying and screaming that he like he swallow something.

“He was lying in her arms, and his eyes were bulging out and he was like gasping for breath. My daughter told me let us take him to FMH or the hospital. I told her that he would die before we get him there.

“I held my grandson around his waist and I jerk his body and he started to vomit. I did it about seven times, and all I was saying was: ‘God, please don’t take him.’

“Then I held him under the arms, and I started to hit his chest about five or seven times, and I heard him say, ‘Huh!’

“I thought he was gone, but I put my finger in his mouth and I get a little passage; I felt something like metal stuck at the side of his throat, so I turned him over and pull it out. And when I look, 25 cents came out and hit me in my stomach.”

Stuart said she and her daughter ran back to her daughter’s house with the child in their arms.

“He was just laying [there] and staring; so I held him in my arms, and I gave him some little slaps on his face and I ask him, ‘Machai, who I am?’ and he whispered, ‘Brown Cat, Gran-Gran’.

“I smiled, because that is what he calls me; and I knew he was okay.”

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Stuart said she first learned the manoeuvre when she was a Girl Guide, and then several years ago, she also took a CPR class.

“I never thought that the day would come when I would have to use it. I want all the adults, and even the children, to learn CPR. It should be taught in the schools and the community centres.

“This is the summer vacation, and a lot of children are home getting up to mischief. My daughter was not negligent; she was folding clothes, and she told him to go into the bed so that she could put him to sleep.

“She did not even know that he put the money in his mouth. These things can happen.”

Stuart said the next day, she called her family doctor and told him about the incident.

“He told me that it was very good what I did; that I saved his life. He is okay now, and he is back to his old self, playing and running around. But now, whenever he finds money, he brings it to us; so he would never put it in his mouth again.

“I thank God that I was able to save his life, because he is my only grandchild, and I love him.” (Barbados Nation)