Life saving lessons
October 20, 2023
Former TIGS student James Downie has made the news in the U.S after helping to resuscitate a fellow team mate who had a cardiac arrest on the basketball court. After realising their friend was in trouble James and another exchange student from Poland rushed to provide CPR.
James shared these words with his former teachers Mr Darren Gardiner and Mrs Lyndal Cassidy:
“It was last night when I was rushed onto a basketball court to see one of the players has suffered a cardiac arrest and was lying unconscious on the court…As I was attempting to recover him I realised his hands were cold, he wasn’t breathing and also had no pulse. Instinctively I began compressions and mouth to mouth and eventually the second set of compressions brought him back to a series of short and raspy gasps, I rolled him in recovery again. This was short lived unfortunately, he stopped breathing and he had no pulse for the second time. This time it took me two rounds of CPR and until he was revived, however just like before I lost him again… All I saw during those life changing ten minutes was my Year 10 and 12 PE classes, the surf life saving class I was taught by you, Mr Gardiner and the most recent first aid class I was taught by Mrs Cassidy. It honestly felt like I was back in class, messing around with the first aid dummies and I was seeing everything as if I was reading off the text book. That’s how quickly and easily all the information came back to me. I was able to stay completely calm and composed while I was working and essentially had tunnel vision that I would not let him die…I will always be grateful for my time at TIGS with both of you as my teachers and mentors.