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Quick-thinking colleagues at Asda Gateshead praised for saving life of 18-month-old baby

May 25, 2023 05:23pm
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Quick-thinking colleagues Laura Black, Holly Sim and Clare Hopps from our Gateshead store potentially saved the life of an 18-month-old baby who was unconscious, unresponsive and running a high temperature.

First-aider Laura, who's the store's security section leader, was first on the scene after hearing the mum crying for help and, after assessing the child, immediately called 999.

Thirty-nine-year-old Laura – who has a three-year-old son Kallum – said: "All I heard was someone saying 'can someone help me, help me, please' and I saw this lady cradling her son. My heart just sank, it really did.

"I got them into the first aid room and him onto the bed to assess the situation. He was non responsive, but still breathing, although it was very shallow. I knew the situation wasn't great so I immediately dialled 999.

"I started the call and then passed it to my colleague Holly and then relayed all the information about the boy to her to pass onto the 999 call handler.

"The baby had a very high temperature – he was so warm he was cooking. I started to strip him down. Being a mum myself and having many years of first aid knowledge, I just knew I had to get this little one cool.

"I was looking for rashes as in the back of my mind I was looking for meningitis. The team on the other end prompted Holly to go and get the defibrillator just in case, but thankfully we didn't have to use it.

"Clare, my other colleague, was comforting and calming the mum and another lady who was with her.

"I turned the little boy onto his side and gently nudged him. He cried, as he didn't like it, but it was a such relief that he came round."

When paramedics arrived they checked him over thoroughly and gave him medication before allowing his mum to take him home.

The mum has since returned to the store to thank the colleagues and to tell them her son had recovered, but was undergoing tests.

Laura, who's worked at the store for 22 years, said: "When the medics arrived they said we'd done the right thing.

"What went on for possibly 20 to 30 minutes felt like a lifetime. I just did what any first aider would have done and mum instincts kicked in as well. I was proud of what I did and being able to assist. The key component was to not panic and intuitively do what I've been trained to do.

"Afterwards I went for a glass of water and locked myself away in the security room and I actually did cry. The adrenaline rush gets you through it but when you come down the emotion hits you."

Tracey Warren, our Gateshead store's customer trading manager, said: "We're all so proud of Laura, Holly and Clare for what they did.

"The boy's mam came into the store the following week to see me. She was very emotional and so thankful; she was in floods of tears. She said it if wasn't for the colleagues' actions that day her little boy may not be here today."

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