Dad’s safety training saved little Rani’s life
AN EMERALD mum is warning parents on the importance of learning CPR after a simple course saved her eight-month-old daughter.
April 26 started like any other Sunday in the Macdonald household. Stephanie Johnson was making afternoon tea for her daughters Rani, eight months, and Millie, 3, while their dad Rogan Macdonald worked on the cubby house in the backyard.
But that afternoon, their life changed in an instant.
The girls were eating avocado and mango when Ms Johnson saw her youngest daughter choking on a piece of the fruit.
She pulled Rani out of her highchair and tried to remove the fruit lodged in her throat, to no avail. She rushed the baby out to her dad who immediately clicked into gear and started CPR when Ms Johnson called triple-0.
He continued until paramedics arrived and took over.
Rani was rushed to Emerald Hospital and was later flown to Queensland Children's Hospital where she has been with her family since.
After being in an induced coma for about three days, a second MRI revealed the extensive brain injuries sustained from the lack of oxygen to her brain.
"We were told she possibly won't walk, talk or be able to feed herself ever again," Ms Johnson said.
"She's okay, she's breathing on her own, but if he hadn't done (CPR), Rani wouldn't be here today.
"We aren't sure what's going to happen but she's a true little fighter."
She said Rogan, who was part of the safety team at a local mine, was so calm and knew exactly what to do.
"It's the only thing that kept her alive," Ms Johnson said.
The mum of two, who has worked with children and families for 20 years, wanted to warn parents on the importance of getting a CPR refresher course.
"In that situation, you just freak out. I've been working with children and parents for 20 years," she said.
"I always thought it would never happen to us, but you just never know."
The family is still at Brisbane with Rani, who is undergoing daily tests and rehab, praying she will be a medical miracle.
"We have a lot of love and support from family, friends and the community and we're just hoping she can beat the odds," Ms Johnson said.
Early this month, Ms Johnson's best friend Carlee Knight and sister Renee Vines created a GoFundMe page in a bid to support the family.
The page reached $20,000 within hours and has since increased to $39,840 with donations from across the Central Highlands, Australia and New Zealand.
"We're just totally overwhelmed and humbled by everyone's support emotionally and financially," Ms Johnson said.
Ms Knight said the funds would allow the family to stay together in Brisbane for as long as possible, with the relief of knowing they were financially supported.
"It hits you hard, to see someone you love in so much pain and you can't do anything but be there for them and support them," she said.
"This keeps them together."
For more information or to support Rani and her family, visit the GoFundMe page or search #hope4rani on Google.