When Ben Raybould’s baby son Eddie stopped breathing, he knew exactly what to do. Catherine Scott reports.
Seeing your precious newborn stop breathing is every parents’ worst nightmare, but Ben Raybould knew exactly what to do.
Ben, 26, from Leeds and his girlfriend Charley McDonough had dropped in on a Red Cross baby first aid seminar at a Mothercare store in Bradford last year.
Little did they know it would end up saving his little boy’s life.
Now Ben is urging all parents and expectant parents to learn first aid as you never know when it might be useful.
“When my girlfriend and I discovered she was pregnant, it was like all our Christmases had come at once” said Ben, who works as an architectural technologist at Brewster Bye Architects in Headingly.
“We started regularly visiting a nearby Mothercare store, caught up in the excitement of buying things for our baby. And so when they held a special evening for expectant parents, we naturally popped along.”
At the event, the British Red Cross was giving a first aid taster session.
Using their baby mannequins, they demonstrated basic life-saving skills – including resuscitation – giving parents-to-be the chance to try out and practice the simple techniques.
Months later their first son, Eddie, was born – but it quickly became clear all was not well.
Eddie suffered from a rare congenital heart defect, which meant he needed open heart surgery at just five days old.
“It was a very traumatic time” recalls Ben.
“As you can imagine, when he was allowed to come home it was the most amazing day of our lives.”
But just four weeks later things took a very worrying turn.
Eddie woke up with a strange, loud cry and Ben knew something was seriously wrong.
Within two minutes, his beloved son had stopped breathing and turned blue.
“My instinct and training just took over,” says Ben.
“While my partner called for an ambulance, I started resuscitating Eddie, literally remembering word by word the instructions from the Red Cross.
“To my utter relief, it worked. Eddie started breathing again and was rushed to hospital.”
Later, Ben discovered that Eddie had suffered an angina attack and was told that without his quick intervention he would have not survived
“He needed two further operations to correct his rare condition – plus numerous other interventions to keep him going along the way – but our brave little man is still with us,” says Ben.
“I’m so grateful to the British Red Cross and Mothercare for the role they played in helping me save my son’s life.
“Without them, my son may not be with us now.”
Throughout June, Mothercare are hosting their My Mothercare Expectant Parent events in stores nationwide.
These free events are designed to help parents and parents-to-be prepare for their new baby. Many of these sessions will also include baby first aid seminars from the British Red Cross.
Joe Mulligan, the head of British Red Cross first aid education said: “Finding your child unconscious is a terrifying experience for any parent, but knowing a few basic skills can make a huge difference in those crucial first few minutes. We’re delighted and relieved that Ben was able to save Eddie’s life with his quick actions.
“We have been working with Mothercare for the past three years; and so far their events have enabled us to share lifesaving skills with over 8,100 parents and parents-to-be,” Joe added.
“We have recently learnt of how half of all parents across the UK wouldn’t know what to do if they saw their child choking. And yet a third of parents also say they have seen their child choke. This information compels us to reach out to more parents so that they can be equipped with lifesaving, first aid knowledge through courses, our website and our apps,” he explained.
As for Eddie, although he is still under the close monitoring of doctors, he will celebrate his first birthday in August.
For more information on the British Red Cross visit www.redcross.org.uk