Roald Rudman's Story
|The day of Roald's accident started as any other day but ended in a tragedy. On 6 October 1997 I left for work and as always he sat on my lap driving out of the driveway and his caregiver took him from me outside. I gave him a hug and kiss and left for work promising to see him later.|
At 16H15 I received a phone call from our caregiver and she hysterically told me that Roald fell into the swimming pool. I immediately phoned the emergency services and summoned them to my home. I also asked them to phone my house and to give instruction to do CPR. I left the office and rushed home, phoning several times on my way there to make sure that they continue with CPR.
When we finally arrived (it felt like hours..) I found a policeman standing outside and he followed me in, grabbed my arm and another policeman lifted a blanket from Roald's head and told me that my son was dead.
I shall never, for the rest of my life, forget what those words did to me! It later came out that when the policemen arrived, they stopped a family friend from doing CPR, looked with a torch into Roald's eyes and felt his pulse and ordered the caregiver to fetch a blanket. They covered him and stopped CPR although the friend insisted that they should do more.
Eventually the Emergency Services arrived and started with CPR again, got a pulse within minutes and he was taken to hospital where he spent 44 days in Intensive Care. The fifteen minutes+ under the blanket could so easily have killed our beautiful bright eyed boy who was so clever at age 2y8m at the time, he knew all his colours and refused himself to drink from baby bottles a few months before and he gave his nappies to the monkeys because he felt they needed them more!
His idea of raining was: "Mamma dit mors daar buite!" "Mamma it wastes water outside!"
On 6 October 1997 our lives changed dramatically and with little help from the hospital and doctors, except that we should institutionalise him, we took our son home straight from the Intensive Care unit and we started reading, browsing the internet and joined support groups like PONDS (Parents of Neardrowns) to seek support and advice from other people in a similiar situation.
Roald will be 18 years old February 10th 2013 and we still celebrate his life and thank God that he is still with us! He has a lot of motor challenges but cognitively he is very much aware of his surroundings and responds by saying a few words or he will blink his eyes to answer us. If I ask him if he loves me, he will respond by blinking once. Roald is the love of our lives and only for him would we have been able to fight the legal battle that lasted eight + years and that finally let to compensation in Trust for our brave boy.
My message to parents out there : Never give up, I know I cannot and our brave one deserves every bit of help, love and care!!
Pieter & Elna Rudman - Roald's loving parents
Petri, Bo & Chantal - Roald's loving siblings