'I can't thank her enough' – Paula from Asda Stockton saves life of choking three-year-old

November 6, 2020

Our quick-thinking colleague Paula Connor-Brown knew exactly what to do when three-old-year Seth Leishman started to choke on a chocolate while at the checkouts at our Stockton store – leaping into action to save the little boy's life.

She dashed out from her till to where Seth was with his mum Louise and sister Elsie, patting him hard on the back several times to force the sweet out.

Paula, who has two children herself aged 16 and 18, said: "The family was at my till and I was just scanning items when Seth's mam started screaming and getting really upset.

"I got out of my chair and went round to the other side and got down to the boy's level and started to pat his back. That wasn't working and he was going a bit blue, so I did it a bit harder and still nothing. So I put a little pressure on his stomach too and a patted harder on his back and he took a breath and it moved it a bit. Seth was really tiny, bless him and I was frightened of hurting him, but after two or three more times of patting his back it finally came out!"

Paula, who's worked at the store for four years, insists she wasn't brave, and was acting on instinct.

She said: "It felt like about 15 minutes – an eternity, but it was probably just a minute tops. There was nothing brave about me at all, I was absolutely terrified but instinct took over. I did what had to be done without thinking. But all's well that end's well and I'm just so glad he was okay."

NHS receptionist Louise, who lives in Billingham and shops in the store twice a week, said: "I'm so grateful to Paula, she really did save Seth's life. I was in complete shock and just froze and felt helpless in that moment. I don’t know what would have happened if it wasn’t for her. I can’t thank her enough. It was just horrendous.

"Working in the NHS I see a lot of things and I know how incidents like that can affect you afterwards so I really do hope Paula is okay. She went above and beyond and is a true star and I will always be grateful to her. She is amazing."

Store manager Emma Frostick, who has nominated Paula for an Asda award, said: "Paula is a lovely and very, very caring colleague and a great member of the team. We are all so proud of what she did."

Share

RELATED STORIES