Paramedics save son’s life after asthma attack on Dad’s birthday

Swan Reach father Adrian Galiazzo described his last birthday as a day he “won’t forget” after watching paramedics save his son’s life following a severe asthma attack.

Adrian and sons Gabriel, 16 and Giordi, 14, were enjoying a balmy Labour Day evening swim at the Lakes Entrance main beach when Giordi unexpectedly went into respiratory distress.

“We were about to leave when my youngest son started to experience a tightening of his chest. He’d inhaled some sea water in the surf, and it triggered his asthma,” Adrian said.

The Galiazzo family - Melina, Giordi, Gabriel and Adrian - standing beside an Ambulance Victoria vehicle parked along the beach.

L-R: Galiazzo family – Melina, Giordi, Gabriel and Adrian

Adrian ran back to his car to retrieve Giordi’s Ventolin but was unable to find it. As Giordi fought to breathe, Gabriel called Triple Zero (000) and asked for an ambulance.

Within minutes Ambulance Victoria (AV) ALS (Advanced Life Support), Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics and air ambulance arrived at the scene and began treating Giordi as his condition continued to deteriorate.

A team of half a dozen paramedics worked on Giordi and were preparing to stabilise him to be able to fly him to hospital when he began responding positively to the treatment.

He was flown by air ambulance to the Royal Children’s Hospital, where he went on to surprise medical staff by making a fast recovery – a testament to the pre-hospital care he received.

On Friday 3rd May, Giordi returned to the Lakes Entrance beach alongside his family to thank the paramedics who saved his life.

“It means the world to be able to thank them – I can’t thank them enough,” Adrian said.

“We wouldn’t have him without the paramedics; it was that close.

“For me it’s a second chance to have our son back. They worked so hard to save my son’s life, the greatest gift any father could receive on their birthday.”

The reunion took place ahead of World Asthma Day which is held on Tuesday, 7 May to raise awareness of asthma worldwide.

Asthma is common patient presentation which AV paramedics respond to in the community, with 11.4 per cent of the Victorian population diagnosed with the condition.

Between 2016-2021 across Australia, more than 40 per cent of asthma hospitalisations were in children.

Giordi standing together with the four paramedics that came to his aid. All five are standing beside an Ambulance Victoria vehicle that is parked beside the beach.

L-R: MICA paramedics Mark Fischer and Glenn Lazzaro, Giordi and ALS paramedics Alex Borg and Lisa Le Sage

Giordi said meeting the paramedics who saved his life was a great experience.

“I remember I got out of the water and it was hard to breathe and then I remember being in an ambulance and in a helicopter,” he said.

“I’m glad I was able to thank them for saving my life.”

Adrian said he thinks of the paramedics as “heroes” after watching them collaborate to save Giordi.

Paramedics Lisa and Alex acted lightning fast to administer everything they could to open his airways,” Adrian said.

“Without these angels, my son would have died.”

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