The value of knowing CPR, especially in remote communities, was highlighted when a Kaitaia father saved his daughter's life after a near-drowning.

Nathan Trent could have panicked when he pulled his unconscious 14-month-old daughter Natalee from a flood-swollen pond.

Instead, CPR skills which he learnt during his training as a forestry worker kicked in.

Meanwhile, a call was made to 111 and a paramedic arrived, transferring Natalee to Kaitaia Hospital in a critical condition.

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Mum Michelle Trent is a nurse at Kaitaia Hospital and said all families should have basic first aid training.

"Including CPR," she said. "Learning a simple skill to save a life is one of the best things we can do."

The Trents, back from left Shanedion (14), Natalee (16 months), Michelle, Nathan, Pani (17), Paris (20), Pana (20), and front from left Angie (3), Pani-Lee (6), Jamie-Lee (13).
The Trents, back from left Shanedion (14), Natalee (16 months), Michelle, Nathan, Pani (17), Paris (20), Pana (20), and front from left Angie (3), Pani-Lee (6), Jamie-Lee (13).

The family's ordeal from the March accident was not over upon reaching hospital, however.

Natalee was transferred to Starship Children's Hospital, where she spent nine days in an induced coma to give her brain time to heal.

She suffered some seizure activity after being transferred to a general ward and was put back into the High Dependency Unit.

She was in hospital for 36 days and needed daily help from speech therapists, physiotherapists, a paediatrician, neurologists and dietitians.

Mr Trent stayed with his daughter, assisting her recovery by encouraging her to walk and play in between the intensive rehabilitation therapy.

Nathan Trent used his CPR skills to save his daughter Natalee, seen here on her hospital bed, after a near-drowning.
Nathan Trent used his CPR skills to save his daughter Natalee, seen here on her hospital bed, after a near-drowning.

She had to re-learn a few major milestones such as crawling and walking, and fine-tune her fine motor-skill development.

"Our miracle is that Natalee is thriving, has no brain damage, and has been successfully titrated off her anti-seizure medication," Mrs Trent said.

"Our reality could have been very different and now I have a sense of security for my children, that they know what to do - it is something positive for them to help take away the fear that they have from such a scary experience."

The country's first "CPR demonstration" was held in Kaitaia last week with more then 150 people turning up.

Kaitaia Hospital clinical lead Dr Sarah Clarke said CPR training was essential in remote communities like Kaitaia.

"The more that can be done for the patient by bystanders, the increased chance of survival," she said.