Two-year-old meets hero mum who saved his life
THE tearful reunion between two Bundaberg mothers has prompted a call for parents to learn lifesaving CPR.
Tragedy almost struck late yesterday afternoon when two-year-old Liam Smith was found floating motionless in the water off the coast of Burnett Heads.
Mum Kelly Smith had taken her three children to a quiet spot near the port and had only turned her back for seconds before she realised her only son had ventured into the water alone.
Ms Smith said if it wasn't for the actions of strangers her son would be dead.
"When I saw him he'd stopped moving and I pulled his limp body from the water," she said.
"He wasn't breathing and I didn't know what to do, I went into shock."
Natasha Livingstone was with her family nearby and heard the terrifying screams for help.
She rushed over to help and started CPR on the lifeless little boy.
"I called 000 and they talked me through CPR," Ms Livingstone told the NewsMail today.
"It was my first time ever doing mouth-to-mouth and I just listened to the instructions over the phone."
When Ms Livingstone heard the screams she had flashbacks to the time her own younger sister nearly drowned, also at the age of 2.
"It brought back all these memories," she said.
"My mum had to give my little sister CPR that saved her life when I was only 10 years old."
Reliving the ordeal today, Ms Livingstone said Liam stopped breathing at one point and was unconscious.
"We laid him on his back first, chin up to check his airway, then to lay him on his side so he could bring up anything and not choke," she said.
"I started CPR and did it once, then when I went to do it again he pushed me away and came back to."
The mother said a major lesson to learn from yesterday's events was the importance of being qualified in first aid.
"Learning CPR is a must for every parent - it can happen so fast and catch you unaware," she said.
"It's a must for every single parent to do a CPR course, especially being Australia the amount we swim.
"Kelly barely turned around for a second and he was under, so get your CPR certificate if you're a parent.
"If it won't save your own children's lives it will save someone else's."
Liam was taken to Bundaberg Hospital where he spent the night for observations.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said CPR was a vital skill and first aid courses could be booked at www.stjohnqld.com.au.