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A parent’s worst nightmare was realised when she was confronted with the sight of her two boys face down in the water

Michaela Peters had no idea that her first aid training from years back would be put to the test on the afternoon of the 23rd February last year at her house in Bassendean.


Having just woken up her 20-month-old twin boys Octavious and Raffael from their afternoon nap, she had turned to do a quick task when all of sudden she noticed the deafening silence. In a household that revolved around two rowdy, loud youngsters, she intuitively knew something was wrong. Michaela raced through the house calling out for the boys and when she stepped outside, in a stomach-churning moment, she noticed that the pool gate was ajar due to a faulty spring mechanism. A parent’s worst nightmare was realised when she was confronted with the sight of her two boys face down in the water.
Her first thought was that she had to get them out. Without hesitation Michaela flung herself into the pool and dragged out her lifeless boys. They were blue in the face from their immersion in the water and instead of panicking, her first aid training kicked in and she started performing CPR on them. However it was impossible to do effective CPR on both boys and she screamed out for help. In a stroke of luck, her husband Ric had just pulled into the driveway and he raced over and dialled triple zero (000) and assisted with CPR in the agonizing minutes before St John Ambulance paramedics arrived on scene.
The twins were both unconscious and were rushed Priority 1 to Princess Margaret Hospital. Twenty medical staff were on hand to treat the boys and amazingly they were discharged from hospital the next day and have suffered from no lasting injury from their ordeal.

Paramedic Nathan Haynes, who was one of the paramedics who attended the scene, said there was no doubt that without that early CPR from the parents, it could have been a very different outcome for the twins.
Parents Michaela and Ric Peters were honoured for their extraordinary efforts at this year’s St John Ambulance WA Community Hero awards ceremony which took place at Government House on the 22nd February.
To give parents and guardians of children the opportunity to be prepared for any first aid situation – whether it be a near-drowning, fracture, bleed or shock – St John Ambulance WA offers a non-accredited course called Caring for Kids. The course teaches participants how to perform CPR, how to manage bleeds, burns and a range of childhood related illnesses and injuries.
The five-hour-long course has a particular focus on asthma, choking, bites and stings and equips participants with the confidence and skills to step in to assist children in these types of situations. Upon completion of the Caring for Kids course, all participants receive a free Tiny Tots first aid kit, valued at $35.
St John Ambulance recommends that people refresh their first aid training every 12 months. Find out more about the range of courses on offer here.