I put my little girl down for a nap then she woke up fighting for her life – she might be dead if I hadn’t known 4 signs | The Sun

A DAD says his daughter could be dead if it hadn’t been for his intuition and spotting the signs of a potentially life-threatening condition.

Little Harriet was put down for a nap and seemed completely healthy, but soon after was in hospital struggling to breathe.

Terrifyingly, if it wasn’t for her dad trusting his gut instinct, Harriet may not be alive today.

Her dad anonymously shared his story on Tiny Hearts Education – a first-aid educational site for parents that he learned a number of warning signs from. 

He said Harriet had seemed “completely normal” when he put her down for a nap, without a temperature or any illness present.

But when she woke up, that all changed.

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“I was in my bedroom when I heard an odd barking sound, ran straight to her room and undid her sleep suit as fast as I could,” he said.

The dad had seen videos on the Tiny Hearts Instagram page that explained conditions like croup and respiratory distress, so immediately recognised the symptoms.

The signs of croup to look out for are:

  1. Harsh barking cough
  2. Hoarse voice
  3. Squeaky noise when breathing in (stridor)
  4. Signs that your child is having difficulty breathing (see below)

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The signs of difficulty breathing are:

  • Your child has a stridor (noisy breathing) when at rest
  • Your child appears to be struggling to breathe
  • Your child becomes abnormally drowsy and lethargic
  • Your child is abnormally agitated
  • Your child seems very unwell and pale
  • Your child’s lips are blue
  • Your child’s breastbone or space in between the ribs suck in when they breathe

The dad said: “I called an ambulance right away knowing it wasn't normal, I had a paramedic here within 10 minutes who told me it was croup.”

Croup is an infection of the upper airways that affects children.

It makes the airways narrow, and it becomes harder to breathe.

There can be complications with croup, such as pneumonia, and in very rare cases, children die.

However, most kids can be treated at home and recover within two days.

The paramedic who arrived at Harriet’s home administered medication and said there was no need to take her to hospital.

But, as parents should always do, the dad trusted his instinct and pushed to take Harriet to A&E.

He said: “I thought, I’m going to follow my heart and I want her in an ambulance.

“We were put in [the emergency department], and within an hour she had another episode so they asked us to stay overnight.

"Then we were transferred to the ward the next morning.”

On the ward, Harriet was given medication, such as steroids, all day.

The medics wanted to send her home but the dad refused and asked to stay another night, he said.

“I am SO glad I did,” he added.

“Within 30 minutes of them wanting to send me home, Harriet took a turn for the worse. She could not breathe.

“At this point I embarrassingly screamed through the doors of my room that my child was blue.

“She couldn't breathe at all. An amazing medic team of 15 people came running through the doors trying to work on my girls, giving her nebs and steroids. Nothing worked.

“I lost all control of my body and they lifted us both onto a bed, rushed us straight to theatre and had to place Harriet into an induced coma for 3 days.

"Her airways completely closed within moments.”

The dad does not reveal what happened next, however it is assumed Harriet fully recovered.

He said he “truly doesn't know what would have happened” had it not been for what he had learned from videos posted by other parents online, which demonstrate respiratory distress in children.

Tiny Hearts Education wrote on Instagram:  “Her [Harriet’s] parents had kept her in the right place at the right time.

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“Parent gut and intuition is a real thing. YOU know your child best.

“Get the confidence to speak up for your child. Just like these parents had.”

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