Mum urges parents to learn CPR after newborn baby almost died

  • Watch Richard Payne's report

A mum from Melksham is urging parents to learn paediatric CPR after her newborn baby almost died.

Hayley Gardyj had just picked up a prescription for the family pet at the vet when her newborn son, Brodie, started crying uncontrollably and went limp.

"He just stopped and went floppy," she told ITV News West Country. "He was white, blue, black - a horrible colour."

After rushing Brodie into the veterinary clinic while screaming for help, Hayley then started to carry out what she remembered from a paediatric CPR training course she had taken years before.

"I've worked within schools for years and we've always done first aid at work and first aid for children but never paediatric.

"I just think it's better to have the knowledge than not, which is why I opted to have the training - and I am so relieved that I did it."

Hayley's son Brodie stopped breathing and had to be revived three times

Hayley said despite being in the middle of "absolute panic" thinking her son had died, she remembered her training.

"In the middle of all that stress and all that anxiety I remembered it," she said. "That's why it's so important. It should be compulsory, I don't know why it's not."

After several minutes of compressions, Brodie suddenly started breathing again and was rushed to the hospital.

Medics then discovered Brodie had a collapsed lung with possible meningitis.

She said: "His lung decided enough was enough and packed it in."

Brodie was treated at Bath RUH, where he spent the week in the high dependency unit in the children’s ward Credit: Hayley Gardyj

Hayley later learned that because Brodie was a severely premature baby, he was more likely to suffer from respiratory problems.

"The little monkey did do it twice more at the hospital, so he effectively died three times," she said. "It was touch and go the first day or two but he's a little fighter and he's so good."

Hayley says that the little knowledge that she had of what to do in an emergency situation made all the difference.

"He wouldn't be with us now, 100% he wouldn't be with us now. His heart stopped and he stopped breathing.

"If we had waited, my kids would have ended up without a little brother - my parents without a grandchild, me without a son and my husband without a son.

"It could save your little one's life, or even someone else's."

Brodie was treated at the Bath RUH where he spent the week on the high dependency ward at the children's unit Credit: Hayley Gradyj

Hayley is hoping that her story will help to encourage more parents to learn what to do in emergency situations, even if it is just looking online or watching a quick explainer video.

"The paediatric first aid training that I did was over a day, one day, but you can watch one video which is two minutes and it should be part of the midwives checklist, you know before parents are discharged. Why can't it be part of their checklist?

"Parents could be really grateful for it because you just don't know what's going to happen. It's better to have some knowledge than nothing at all.

"I did it wrong, but it worked and he's here."

How do you perform CPR on a baby?

According to St John's Ambulance, this is what you should do if you need to resuscitate a baby under one year old:

1. Call 999 for help - if you're alone you need to give the baby 5 puffs followed by a minute of CPR before calling for help

2. Place them on a firm surface and open their airway. With one hand on their forehead tilt their head back to check their airways and pick out any visible obstructions from the mouth and nose

3. Take a breath and place your mouth around the baby's mouth and nose creating a seal and blow gently and steadily for one second

4. The chest should rise, watch the chest fall completely before doing the second puff - you should do this 5 times

5. Put two fingers on the baby's chest and push down a third of the depth of the chest. Release the pressure allowing the chest to come back up before pressing down again

6. Repeat this thirty times at a rate of 100-120 pumps per minute

7. After 30 pumps, open the airway and give a further two puffs

8. Continue to alternate between thirty chest pumps and two puffs until help arrives or they start breathing again

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