Family saves father

Published 6:21 pm Thursday, May 8, 2008

CPR training a student received during his freshman year of high school may have saved his father’s life.

Sometime in February at about 11 p.m. Picayune High School student Reginald Bailey Jr. said one of his two sisters heard their father, Reginald Bailey Sr., fall to the floor. Reginald Bailey Jr. found his father on the bedroom floor breathing deeply and making strange sounds. Then he stopped breathing.

While Reginald Bailey Jr.’s younger sister called family members the older sister called emergency assistance. Then Bailey and his older sister worked as a team to revive their father using CPR.

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“I administered it myself, she was just making sure I did it right,” Reginald Bailey Jr. said.

For about 15 minutes Reginald Bailey Jr. said he gave his father mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compressions. After that time Reginald Bailey Sr., opened his eyes and started breathing on his own. Reginald Bailey Jr. turned his father over on his side, but he was still having difficulty breathing.

Reginald Bailey Sr. said he does not recall the events of that day, he only remembers waking up in the hospital. Doctors told him that he had suffered a cardiac arrest.

“All I can remember is sitting on the side of my bed, the next episode I remember I woke up in the hospital,” Reginald Bailey Sr., said.

These days Reginald Bailey Sr. said he is doing better and gaining his strength back. He has been instructed by his doctors to get more exercise.

He will never forget the efforts of his son and daughters.

“I feel blessed that they really knew what they were doing,” Bailey Sr., said. “I’m an advocate. I tell everyone I know if they got kids they need to get them in CPR class.”

District School Health Nurse Coordinator Jan Sweet said all students who attend Picayune High School take the CPR class as part of their Health class. Sweet, who teaches the class, attended certification classes at Forrest General to become a certified instructor. The high school program was started in conjunction with Coach Jerry Todd to provide students a skill that can be used throughout life, Sweet said.

“We chose to do this cause we know that accidents are the leading cause of death in teenagers and children,” Sweet said.

The CPR program was made possible by the Healthy Lifestyles grant, Sweet said.

The younger Bailey is also a standout football player for the Picayune Maroon Tide and earned all Region 8-4A honors this past season as he helped guide Picayune into the Class 4A playoffs.