A Greek Cypriot doctor, Jack Kerry (Kyriacou), is on trial for giving life-saving CPR to his daughter after she overdosed on heroin, despite evidence her friend – who later died from the overdose – was in a worse condition a court in Australia heard.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News), the South Australian Coroner’s Court heard Jack Kerry’s testimony on Thursday, about the night in March 2016 when Luke Pike, 43, died in Kerry’s surgery, while the doctor gave his daughter, Athena, CPR.
Kerry was asked why he performed CPR on his daughter despite evidence that Pike was in a worse physical state. He told the court he instinctively went to his daughter, describing his actions as “paternal instinct”.
“One look at him, I thought he’d had a cardiac arrest, thought he was dead,” Kerry said of Pike.
ABC News reported that Kerry agreed that in the first two to three minutes that he performed CPR, Pike had only received about half a minute of resuscitation from a third man, Mark Campbell.
He also described Campbell as appearing “shocked” and “frightened” by the overdose, having screamed “heroin, heroin” to raise the alarm.
Kerry said he continued to give his daughter CPR after he found a pulse, and described her as having “good colour”, while directing Campbell to do the same to Pike, ABC News reported.
In a statement to police, Athena Kyriacou revealed that her brother — and Kerry’s only son — had died of a drug overdose 11 years ago.
Giving evidence in court, Kyriacou said both Pike and Campbell were patients of her father’s and that Campbell had connections to her late brother.
She testified that Pike and herself had met Campbell at a bar, where he was “pushing” for the pair to take heroin with him.
According to ABC News, the group ended up paying 150 Australian dollars for heroin which Campbell — who has since died — left the bar to collect, the court heard.
Kyriacou said Campbell later injected her and Pike at the nearby clinic before they collapsed minutes later.
The court was told Kerry, who had been in the next room when the pair overdosed, was present when paramedics arrived and attempted to resuscitate the pair.
After the incident, Campbell was found to have Pike’s phone in his pocket, police told the court Campbell was “reluctant to admit his involvement”.
Kerry also told the court he believed Campbell had supplied the drugs, and saw him take a syringe from the scene while he performed CPR.
Police found no needles, and only a syringe containing blood at the scene later. Kerry denied removing any evidence, including syringes.