Teacher He­len had some life sav­ing home­work...

Real People - - PUFFED OUT! -

Mar­mite spread on melon? Fish sauce in my por­ridge?! Not a bit of it. My preg­nancy crav­ing was no-non­sense: ba­con, cre­mated black and by the bucket-load!

‘Ah that’s the stuff,’ I beamed as my hubby Steven, 36, plonked my charred din­ner in front of me.

‘Just how you like it,’ he smiled as the burnt, greasy pile of slith­ers glis­tened up at me.

Frankly, it was the high­light of my day – since I’d gone on ma­ter­nity leave from my job as a se­condary school teacher, I’d been bored stiff at home.

So when a fel­low teacher, Amy, suggested go­ing on a first aid course, I jumped at the chance.

She’d just had a baby, while I was 37 weeks gone.

‘You never know when it will come in handy,’ she said, earnestly.

I sup­pose she was right, but as a teacher, I was more used to pack­ing poorly kids off to the med­i­cal room.

In Oc­to­ber 2017, we went to the St John Am­bu­lance course. I sat next to Amy and her six-week-old baby, Owen, and watched as an in­struc­tor knelt over a baby dummy and per­formed CPR.

It didn’t seem real – surely a para­medic would do all this if there was ever a cri­sis?

‘I can’t think when I’ll need this,’ I whis­pered to Amy.

Two weeks later, baby Isaac was ready to make his en­trance at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hospi­tal in Gateshead.

Stub­bornly ly­ing side­ways, he had to come out by C-sec­tion – it would have been like car­ry­ing a hor­i­zon­tal plank of wood through a door oth­er­wise!

‘He’s hav­ing dif­fi­culty breath­ing,’ the doc­tor said calmly. My heart be­gan to race. Clutch­ing Steven, I watched help­lessly as 6lb 2oz Isaac, was whisked away to the spe­cial care baby unit.

‘I’m sure it’s noth­ing,’ Steven tried to re­as­sure me, but his pale face didn’t lie.

A nurse said Isaac had fluid on his lungs and low blood su­gar lev­els.

It wasn’t for an­other four and a half hours that I met my son.

‘Hello,’ I whis­pered, stroking his tiny fingers.

On oxy­gen for 14 hours, Isaac then stayed in the unit for a week.

Fully re­cov­ered, we took him home in De­cem­ber and showed him off to the fam­ily.

‘Let’s have a break, just us three,’ I said to Steven, so we booked a Hosea­sons hol­i­day lodge in Jan­uary.

Isaac was checked over by a doc­tor and two weeks later, we set off for Thanet Well, in the Lake Dis­trict.

He had the snif­fles, but two nights in, he de­vel­oped a cough.

Me and Steven were up all night try­ing to soothe him, so we de­cided to go home and take him to the doc­tor.

I strapped Isaac into his car seat and set­tled my­self in be­side him, ready for the two-hour jour­ney.

‘I’ll do a fi­nal sweep,’ said Steven, dis­ap­pear­ing in­side.

Isaac started to cry, so I spun the seat round.

‘There, there…’ I be­gan. Sud­denly panic gripped. His wee face was go­ing blue! ‘Call an am­bu­lance,’ I yelled. Right, that first aid course,

I thought, try­ing to stay calm. I tried to re­mem­ber what the in­struc­tor said, above the heavy thud-thud-thud of my heart.

Oh yes, two fingers to the ster­num, and press. I couldn’t do it prop­erly, so I un­buck­led him.

‘Get him in­side and onto the ta­ble,’ I said to Steven. He bun­dled our baby back into the lodge.

‘Here,’ I barked, point­ing. ‘Two fingers there.’

I took charge of the phone, shak­ing too much to do the CPR my­self.

‘Your mouth over Isaac’s nose and mouth,’ I said.

Still blue… Still not breath­ing… Steven blew into Isaac, again and again.

Then… his lit­tle chest raised up by it­self. He was breath­ing! Mine and Steven’s eyes locked. We’d saved our baby’s life! Colour flushed back into Isaac’s face.

He’d stopped breath­ing for un­der a minute.

Ten min­utes later, paramedics ar­rived and Isaac was cry­ing and whim­per­ing.

Then I heard the whirring blades of an air am­bu­lance as it landed in the field nearby.

‘Mummy’s here,’ I soothed, as the he­li­copter took us into the skies. Steven fol­lowed in the car. Doc­tors at the Royal Vic­to­ria In­fir­mary, New­cas­tle, told us Isaac had bron­chi­oli­tis, swelling his tiny air­ways.

But af­ter eight days of care he was back at home.

He’s one now. And he’s got the most joy­fully wide smile.

‘It’s like the he­li­copter you went up in,’ I coo as he plays with his Toot Toot toy ’copter.

Not that he cares! He’s too in­ter­ested try­ing to touch the telly screen likes it’s an ipad. I can’t imag­ine life with­out him. Thank good­ness I went on that first aid course. I’d urge any mum to sign up to one now!

Steven and me love our boy Isaac’s big smile

I can’t imag­ine life with­out my son

Isaac spent a week in hospi­tal

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