Nfld. & Labrador

Family from Bonavista Bay awarded for saving man's life

They all received first-aid and CPR training during separate courses, but saved a life together.

'You get in that lifesaving mode and all that panic just leaves you', says Tony Keats

The Keats family (Tony and wife Donna, son Cole and daughter Toni) (Ken Reid)

They all received first-aid and CPR training during separate courses, but saved a life together.

The Keats family from Dover recently received the St. John Ambulance Life-Saving Award, for reviving a man who nearly choked to death in October.

You get in that lifesaving mode and all that panic just leaves you.- Tony Keats

Tony Keats provides home support for the man, who has autism. It was while the man was eating lunch that Keats says he started showing signs of distress. 

"I noticed there was a large amount of peanut butter bread in his mouth. He's got a tendency of not chewing sometimes," Keats told the Central Morning Show.

"So I took some out with a spoon, got him up and started the Heimlich maneuver and couldn't dislodge the object from his mouth. A little while after he went non-responsive."

As a Family

Tony's son Cole and daughter Toni just happened to be home at the time.   

"I gotta give thanks to my son and my daughter who just jumped right into that mode and said 'we gotta do this and we gotta get this done'," he said.

Keats credits his family's CPR training for saving a man's life recently. (CBC)

In no time, Keats said the whole family was working together to revive the man.

"My son went into doing the breaths and I did the compressions, my wife (Donna) was on the phone with the ambulance operators and my daughter was giving us direction," said Keats.

Looking Back

Keats credits the family's first-aid and CPR training for saving the man's life. Something he learned after losing his own father.

"20 something years ago I performed CPR on my father and the results weren't the same, so he passed away. But to save a life and to see somebody come back, is amazing," he said.

"You wouldn't believe how fast that comes to you and you get in that life saving mode."

He recommends everybody get trained, "because you don't know when something's going to happen and you're going to have to step up to the plate and do something for someone."

now