A Ruskington mum, who saved her four-week-old baby with CPR when he choked on her breast milk, has been shortlisted for a life-saving charity award.
Mother-of-two Victoria Dawson, 31, is one of more than 50 finalists whose first aid stories show courage and commitment to saving lives in the annual St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards.
Victoria has been shortlisted in the ‘Hero Parent of the Year’ category after her quick response to help baby son Eddie who was born eight weeks prematurely in October last year.
She said: “I’d been OK with breast feeding and felt everything was fine. It was exactly a week after we had come home when I was feeding Eddie and heard him cough and splutter. I stopped the feed straight away at which point Eddie just became all floppy and the colour drained from his face.”
Victoria shouted for her partner Alex and put her finger gently into Eddie’s mouth to see if there was any milk there, before giving him some firm but gentle back slaps, but he was still floppy and wasn’t breathing.
She said: “I gave him rescue breaths while my partner was on the phone to the emergency services then got Eddie on the floor and started CPR. After a couple of compressions, Eddie began to respond slowly.
“It was all very quick but felt like a lifetime for him to respond and for paramedics to arrive. Eddie was then given oxygen and his colour came back.”
He was kept in hospital overnight, returning home the next day. Victoria said: “The experience was terrifying and I must have cried for two days solid after it happened because of the shock. I was very anxious with feeding afterwards.”
Victoria is a district nurse for Lincolnshire Community Health Services and said: “Thank god for my training that night.
“I had performed CPR on adults but never thought I would have to use it on my own child.
“We really thought in that moment we had lost him but luckily my instincts kicked in. I was lucky I had prior knowledge but many mums and dads don’t so it’s important they learn.”
The awards, hosted by presenter and musician, Myleene Klass, on September 7 in London, are the charity’s yearly celebration of ordinary people’s actions to help someone in need through first aid.
Sue Killen, CEO at St John Ambulance, said: “The actions of our finalists prove that first aid really can be the difference between life and death.”