Josh Barraud and his daughter on a bike ride in Wairarapa. PHOTO/rnz.co.nz/SALLY BARRAUD
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for the Barraud family.
Two weeks ago, the young family made the decision to end their OE in Asia early and return to New Zealand.
Then last Thursday, just one day after completing their period of self-isolation in Greytown, dad Josh went for a bike ride with his daughter where they came across another cyclist who appeared to be having a heart attack.
On RNZ’s Afternoons programme on Monday, he spoke about making the decision to break the family’s bubble to save a life.
“I was taking my daughter out for a bike ride […] around suburban Greytown and with no cars on the road,” Barraud said.
“Going around the corner, there was another fella coming from the other direction who was on a very slow collision course with us. I’m not quite sure if he realised he needed to get out of the way or if he was potentially having some sort of cardiac incident.”
Barraud said that the man tried to do a u-turn quickly, and toppled sideways after the front wheel of his bike locked up.
“He wasn’t wearing a helmet and smacked his head on the side of the road hard,” he said.
“We were trying to get him into the recovery position and then he stopped breathing.
“Then it was really time to break the bubble.”
Barraud realised there wasn’t any other option so went in to perform mouth-to-mouth while another bystander, Marie Bradshaw, performed CPR and another woman called 111.
Having done a first aid course about 30 years ago, he said he was surprised by how much he remembered.
“I thought I had forgotten everything I learnt in high school.”
The cyclist was flown to Wellington Hospital by Life Flight where he remained in a stable condition on a ward on Tuesday.
On the programme, he was named as “prominent journalist” and former Fairfax media group editor, John Crowley.
Barraud said he hadn’t realised the seriousness of the situation until speaking with the family of Crowley.
“I think I was in shock for another day,” he said. “Talking to [them] I realised the gravity of the whole situation.”
His daughter had “held up really well”, despite being hit with a number of changes in such a short period of time.
He said he and his wife were grateful for support from the Wairarapa community after arriving with very little.
“We showed up with just the clothes we were wearing really; just t-shirts and shorts heading into winter.”
The incident had also shown him the value of completing a first aid course, he said.