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Prince Rupert girl's quick thinking saves father's life

Gianna and Bill Evans are able to be together today because of Gianna
Gianna and Bill Evans are able to be together today because of Gianna's fast response after her dad had a heart attack.
— image credit: Martina Perry photo

In a crisis some people are able to do things they didn't think were possible.

Prince Rupert's Gianna Evans is living proof of that. Earlier this year, the 12-year-old performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on her father before emergency responders arrived, despite not knowing how.

"I watched a movie a couple of days before, and one thing the main character kept saying was 'nothing's impossible'. That's what I was thinking," Gianna said.

In January Gianna was laying in bed one night when she heard Bill, her dad, arrive home from work.

"As soon as I closed my eyes I heard a big boom," she said.

Upon investigation, Gianna saw her father gasping for air and turning blue on the hallway floor; Bill had a heart attack on his way up the stairs.

Although she wasn't entirely sure how to, Gianna began performing CPR in an effort to revive him. Meanwhile, her mother Kori and brother Michael called 911.

"If Gianna wasn't home that night, he wouldn't be here today. I couldn't comprehend what was happening," said Kori, who was so overwhelmed with panic she couldn't even provide the dispatcher with the family's address.

Bill was transferred to St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver and was in a coma for 12 days. But doctors from Prince Rupert and Vancouver agreed that without Gianna's quick thinking the outcome would have been much different.

Bill doesn't remember anything that happened that the night, but is grateful for his daughter's efforts.

"Even the surgeon told me I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my daughter," Bill said, with Gianna joking, "I think I was the favourite child when he found out."

Gianna had an idea of how to perform CPR because of a babysitting course she took, but attributes her success to her demi-character dance solo where she pretends to perform CPR.

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