Orla, an Irish mum of 3 beautiful children has lived in Dubai for 12 years. The 21st of June 2016, is a day she will never forget, when she almost lost her middle daughter Aoife to a "near drowning" accident.
“Knowing how to perform CPR can be the difference between life or death”
We hear from Orla what happened. “Aoife was almost 5 years old at the time. We were swimming in my friend's private pool, myself, my two other children and the other family, when Aoife's arm got sucked into a vacuum cleaning system. Aoife was trapped under water for more than 2 minutes. By the time we were able to get her released, Aoife was already gone. I started CPR on my daughter by the side of the pool. Fortunately I had CPR training, as I'm an Occupational Therapist. I worked on Aoife for about a minute, and after what seemed like an eternity, God gave her back to me ...... Aoife remained critical in ICU for 3 days, however thank God, went on to make a full recovery. She is an utter miracle, our angel.”
* Where there is water, there is a risk of drowning *
“We are the luckiest parents in the world. I decided from that day, that Aoife was given back to us for a reason and I had a responsibility to educate people and raise awareness on water safety and drowning prevention in Dubai and the UAE. I have been doing lots of voluntary talks, but in September, I set up Aoife’s Campaign and am bringing the campaign to the UK. I know undoubtedly, by raising awareness, Aoife will indirectly save lives.”
Aoife's campaign focuses on 4 Layers of Protection.
THE ABCDs of water safety.
By learning these simple water safety tips and discussing them with your family, you and your child can learn to prevent drowning.
A = Adult Supervision:
Never leave your child unattended in water, Don’t get distracted, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!
B = Barriers:
A garden or holiday pool should have a 4-sided fence with self-closing gates to isolate the accommodation from the pool area
C = Classes (for CPR and Swimming lessons)
Please enrol in a class to learn CPR. Sadly accidents do happen. Knowing how to perform CPR can be the difference between life and death. Aoife would not be here today. Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim from an early age.
D = Drains:
Please teach your child to stay away from pool drains. Hair, bathing suits, and, as in Aoife's case, even limbs can become entrapped.
Please follow @aoifescampaign for more information on the above.
Water is there for everyone to enjoy, but please respect it and stay safe.
*Drowning is Preventable*