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A hero and victims family reunited and how CPR can save lives

Katie Severn, 28, is the daughter of an elderly Canadian man who nearly drowned in Phi Phi. She set out to try to find the Australian father and daughter who saved her father’s life and her story was published in the Herald Sun.

She told the publication that her father Mike Reynolds, 73, had a heart seizure and lost consciousness while on a snorkeling trip in Phi Phi on April 22nd. She said “they were on the same tour as us, and when they saw my dad was in trouble they didn’t hesitate, they immediately leapt Mike Reynoldsoff the boat into the water and stared administering CPR. Then they lifed him onto the speedboat and continued giving him CPR as the boat rushed him to the small hospital on nearby Phi Phi island.” Katie’s sister Kristi said “They waited with us at the hospital while medical staff spent more than thirty minutes trying to resuscitate my dad, which meant they missed their speedboat back to Phuket, they even filled out hospital paperwork for us, without them my dad would not have made it alive to the hospital.”

Kristi said the good Samaritans told her they were both lifesavers on Australia’s east cost and were in Phuket on a family holiday. She remembered that the daughter’s name was Sophie and had a younger brother with her but that was all she could remember. Kristi said “I would really like to find them so we can thank them properly for saving my dad’s life.

Unbeknown to Mr. Reynolds daughters, Sophie 18, and her dad Jason had no idea their efforts had saved their dads life until three weeks after the near tragedy when they read the article in the Sunday Telegraph describing how the British Columbia family were trying to find them to thank them.

Both members of the North Cronulla Surft Club in New South Wales the pair revealed the dramatic ordeal in which they performed CPR for 40 minutes to keep the 73 year old victim alive.

Mr. Gollan described how he had to swim the man, who had made it to a rocky outcrop near Phi Phi island after suffering a heart attack in the water. He then struggled to hold Mr. Reynolds on the rock while he administered CPR among the surges of water that were ripping his legs against the rocks. Mr. Gollan said “we had to get a lifejacket on him and he was just unresponsive and grey..nothing”

Meanwhile Sophie comforted Mr. Reynold’s “hysterical” younger daughter, also 18 before helping with CPR once Mr. Reynolds was hoisted into the tour boat. Together they worked on Mr. Reynolds for more than 40 minutes pumping his chest while the boat rose to a 45 degree angle form the speed and the waves. Another man held on to Sophie to stop her falling overboard as she worked on the man until they reached the hospital.

Jason Gollan and Sophie

Jason Gollan and his daughter Sophie / Picture: Damian Shaw Source: News Corp Australia

The pair stayed at the hospital until the medical team got the man’s heartbeat back and was taken to a hospital in Phuket. In the chaos they did not get a chance to say goodbye to the family.

Mr.Gollan said that when he got a text message telling him to read page 27 of the paper he could not believe it and had to read the article four times. He and his wife Narelle, son Lachlan, 16 and his daughter were only three days into their holiday when the incident occurred. “I remember saying to Soph ‘we’re going to have to go here’ because you could see the colour draining out of him,” he said. Mr Reynolds is still in intensive care in a Phuket hospital.

“Who would have thought, 7000km from North Cronulla beach, starting CPR on a rock outcrop no bigger than a double bed,” he said.

Herald Sun

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