Ruth Travis dreads to think what could have happened if PC Tony Morton hadn’t been there when she ran out into the street frantically looking for help after her young son stopped breathing.
Yesterday one-year-old Harry Robinson was a picture of health as he posed in a police woolly hat after his life was saved by PC Morton who spotted his distressed mother clutching her son in her arms when he was out on patrol. Just a few days earlier the policeman’s prompt actions saved the youngster’s life.
Harry had only celebrated his first birthday last Friday and the following day his mother was getting ready to take him to the shops when she noticed he had gone limp and blue following a fit and his eyes had rolled to the back of his head.
Ruth, 25, a nursery nurse, said: “I went to the back door to get his shoes and as I came back to the pushchair he was blue and limp.
“It was awful, I honestly thought he was dying.”
She ran out into the street, in Selby, where PC Morton was on patrol in a marked police van.
PC Morton said: “It was a wet afternoon and as I came to the junction of to the junction of Bawtry Road I saw a young woman emerge from a house waving and shouting frantically at anyone who was passing.
“She appeared to be holding what at first glance looked like a rag doll.
“I went over to help and when I saw baby Harry my heart sank, he was floppy, grey, his lips had turned blue and his eyes had rolled into the back of his head.
“I sat the lady and baby down in the back of the van while at the same time, made an urgent radio call for an ambulance. I checked for a pulse but there was none.
“Being acutely aware that there is very little time before brain damage starts to occur due to lack of oxygen, I knew I could not wait for an ambulance. I quickly remembered the training we had been given and dealt with the problem facing me as I knew time was of the essence.
“I managed to calm Harry’s mum down and got her involved. I loosened Harry’s clothing and began to lightly massage his chest while at the same time blew small breaths into his mouth.
“After a few breaths his eyes started to move and he miraculously began breathing on his own.
“I was amazed at how quickly he came round and within a few minutes he was wearing my yellow woolly hat and was wrapped in my police jacket.”
It turned out Harry had suffered a fit caused by a temperature, which may have been a complication from teething.
PC Morton added: “Once the incident was over and I had time to reflect on what had happened, it was quite emotional. Set against the rest of the shift that day, having dealt with people who were uncooperative and hostile towards the police, it really brought it home how rewarding the job can be.”
Ruth thanked PC Morton and hand-delivered a card and chocolates to Selby police station.
She is first-aid trained but said in her panic her knowledge had gone out of the window and her first thought had been to get help.
Ruth said: “I am very grateful to Tony and I feel lucky that he was there at the right time.”
Chief Inspector Mark Khan, praised PC Morton’s actions, saying he was a credit to the Force.
“The incident could so easily have ended in tragedy and we could have been facing a very different and difficult situation,” he said
Harry was taken to York District Hospital where he remained for the night. He is now back at home fit and well.