Kirkland mother encourages CPR education, after near-drowning

A Kirland mother is encouraging others to learn CPR after she witnessed a near-drowning, and realized she was completely helpless to save the drowning boy.

Only 10% of Quebecers have been trained to perform CPR, says Quebec division of Canada's Lifesaving Society

Catalina Goyette says she felt helpless when she spotted a four-year-old boy, unconscious in a friend's pool, and realized she didn't know what to do. (CBC)

A Kirkland mother is encouraging more people to learn CPR, after witnessing a near-drowning in a backyard pool.

I was feeling hopeless, because I didn’t know what to do- Catalina Goyette, Kirkland mother

Catalina Goyette said she was at a pool party on Île-Bizard when she noticed a four-year-old boy unconscious in the pool.

“The child was blue already when I pulled him out of the water,” Goyette said.

“I was feeling hopeless, because I didn’t know what to do."

Out of the 20 adults at the party, only one man knew how to perform CPR. 

Thanks to his help, the boy survived. 

According to the Quebec division of Canada's Lifesaving Society, that type of backyard near-drowning is not unusual.

Only 10 per cent of Quebecers have been trained to perform CPR, according to Raynald Hawkins, executive director of the Quebec division of Canada's Lifesaving Society.

The Lifesaving Society recommends that every household with a pool ensures at least one family member knows CPR.

"Every minute we don’t start CPR, we lose 10 percent of the full recovery of the victim. So if we wait for the ambulance, like 5 minutes, that means we have 50 per cent less chance to recover the victim without any brain damage," Hawkins said.

Calls for more education

After witnessing-the near drowning and realizing there was little she could do, Goyette jumped into action to make sure that didn't happen again. 

"It's so important to have somebody trained to provide that immediate help at that instant," Goyette said. 

She asked her childrens' school to offer a CPR course for parents. The school agreed to her request, and followed through. 

Hawkins said CPR is easy to learn, but some people don't want the responsibility associated with knowing how to save a life. 

He's hoping with more awareness and with the help of people like Goyette, attitudes towards CPR and pool safety are changing.

There have been even fewer drownings this year than last, which was at a 23-year low

So far this season, 21 people have drowned in the province, compared to 37 drownings this time last year.