Bassendean parents given St John Ambulance Community Hero Award


Paramedic Nathan Haynes, area manager Alan Wright, paramedic Sarah Maconnell, and Richard, Octavious, Raffael and Michaela Peters.
Paramedic Nathan Haynes, area manager Alan Wright, paramedic Sarah Maconnell, and Richard, Octavious, Raffael and Michaela Peters.

A BASSENDEAN couple who saved their twin sons’ lives in a “tragic” pool accident still shudder at the sound of an ambulance.

Last February, Michaela Peters had just woken up her then 20-month old sons, Octavious and Raffael, from an afternoon nap and turned to do a quick task.

After a period of silence, she raced outside and saw the outdoor pool gate open due to a faulty spring.

She saw her boys face down in the water, jumped in to drag them out and performed CPR.

It was impossible to do effective CPR on both boys but luckily, her husband Richard arrived home at this time and rang triple zero and they both frantically continued to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived on scene.

The boys, both unconscious, were rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital and survived the ordeal.

Mr and Ms Peters were each awarded the St John Ambulance Community Hero Award on February 22.

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Ms Peters said she and Richard were surprised and honoured to win the award.

“It is easy to be carried away with daily insignificant challenges,” she said.

“I guess we hold in from time to time and appreciate the fact that we are all healthy.”

Ms Peters said her family now had a higher vigilance around water.

“We still freak out if we lose track of the boys for a second…I think just my and husband and I, we are stressed out when the children are around the pool,” she said.

“Either my husband or me, we are the first and the last one who check on the pool gate and every other door in the house.

“My husband’s heart still freezes for seconds when he hears a certain pitch of screams, that reminds him of my cry for help when he came home on that day.”

Ms Peters said her sons still enjoyed swimming in the pool despite having lung problems.

“It can be assumed that Octavious has been first in the pool as he is in general the explorer and adventurer and Raffael the follower,” she said.

“This assumption is even stronger, as Octavious’ health has been more impacted than Raffael’s… it is hard to say, whether is due to the pool accident or not.”

She said her sons were going to have brain scans to assess their condition.

She said learning CPR was vital and it helped her react quicker during the emergency.

“As the dramatic incident showed us, little unforeseen incidents all linked up, can make an accident possible,” she said.

“To learn CPR, you are armed with some knowledge we both felt it was hard enough standing over our twins who had drowned knowing CPR…let alone not knowing CPR and having no chance to get them back.

“This would be the memory that would haunt you for the rest of your life.”