Sask. mother who performed CPR on newborn loses home in fire

By 980 CJME
August 20, 2018 - 6:45am

Just a day before she was set to bring her newborn triplets home from the hospital, Danielle Johnston’s home southeast of Weyburn burnt to the ground Saturday.

Johnston made headlines earlier this month when she gave lifesaving CPR to one of her babies while in labour with the two others.

The Johnston’s family home near Griffin, Sask. after a fire tore through it on Aug. 18, 2018. (Brianna Ereth/GoFundMe)

Along with their home and all their belongings inside it, the family lost three cats and a dog in the blaze.

Despite losing almost everything, Johnston said she’s choosing to focus on the positive.

“It could have been one of us who died, but we’re all here,” she said. “There’s always somebody worse off than you are, so you’ve just got to be grateful for what you have.”

Since Johnston, her husband and their four other children were in Regina getting ready to bring the triplets home, the family wasn’t there at the time of the fire. However, the surrounding community came together to help fight the blaze.

“We had neighbours, friends, family — people that I don’t even hardly know but they heard what happened and they wanted to help in some way or another. It’s so humbling,” she said.

Weyburn fire chief Simon Almond said investigators still don’t know what sparked the flames, but at this time it doesn’t look to be suspicious.

Almond noted the house is a total loss.

Family ‘eternally grateful’ for the public support

Brianna Ereth, who’s known Johnston since junior high, set up a GoFundMe page Saturday night after hearing about the fire.

“It was supposed to be such an amazing day; taking those babies all home and having everybody under one roof, but now she has no home to go home to,” Ereth said.

For the last eight months, she added Johnston had been stocking up on thousands of dollars worth of diapers, baby wipes and food in preparation to bring her triplets home, and now it’s all gone.

As of Sunday at 9 p.m., the online fundraiser had raised more than $26,500 of its $100,000 goal.

“I can’t believe the community and the people — just how amazing everyone is. Eternally grateful I am,” Johnston said of the public support.

Right now, the whole family — including the triplets — are staying in their camper in Regina, where they’ve been for the last month to be closer to the babies when they were in the hospital.

Johnston said once they get their insurance and finances in line, they have plans to rebuild their home and finally live together as a family of nine under one roof.

Discussions underway between Gov’t, Athabasca Health Authority

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