Mum wins Hero Parent award

St John Ambulance Everyday Hero Award winner Victoria Dawson.  (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images) EMN-160909-150903001
St John Ambulance Everyday Hero Award winner Victoria Dawson. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images) EMN-160909-150903001

Mum Victoria Dawson from Ruskington has been named Hero Parent of the Year at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes awards.

In November 2015, a few weeks after bringing premature baby Eddie back from hospital, Victoria was breastfeeding when the infant started choking and became limp.

It quickly became apparent to the young mum that her son had actually stopped breathing.

Victoria, 31, had 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.”

Victoria is a district nurse for Lincolnshire Community Health Services and said: “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.”

Victoria was among 11 winners at the ceremony last Wednesday night, hosted by presenter and musician Myleene Klass, and supported by Laerdal Medical - creator of the world famous Resusci Anne.

HRH The Countess of Wessex was also in attendance as Grand President of the Order of St John.

Victoria said: “I feel very honoured to win this award and want to thank St John Ambulance for letting me be a part of their Everyday Heroes celebrations. I felt privileged to be amongst some remarkable people. I am by no means a hero, but like St John Ambulance do have an important message to spread. What would mean so much to me and on behalf of my son would be if someone reading this is inspired to learn first aid.

“I know too well as a parent and a nurse how crucial it is to act quickly in a first aid emergency and this can be the difference between life and death. My greatest reward is having my son alive to share our story. I urge people to get behind St John Ambulance, learn first aid and spread their message that no life should be lost where first aid can make a difference.”