A west Belfast man has described the moments he battled to save his newborn baby daughter’s life after she was born prematurely.
Padraig McCracken was talked through the emergency delivery procedure by telephone after his partner went into labour a month early at their home.
“I went into the toilet and sort of felt pressure and then my waters came away...so I knew something was happening,” said Mr McCracken’s partner Collette McGuigan.
“The next minute the baby’s head came out and then I had to sit down on the floor; the baby’s body came out then — we were in shock.”
A frantic Padraig dialled 999 and was instructed to do CPR by the operator.
“She told me to find the breastbone and start doing CPR,” he said.
“But because of the size of the baby I was scared in case I damaged her or did something. She told me to do mouth-to-mouth on her.
“I had to put my mouth over her nose and mouth and start breathing until I could feel the air going in. On the third time it worked and she started breathing again. By that stage the emergency services came and they took over.”
Mr McCracken said he was “panicking like mad” but praised the 999 operator for guiding him through the resuscitation procedure.
He said: “If it hadn’t been for that girl on that phone I don’t know what would have happened. I'm very grateful to her.”
After being monitored in intensive care the couple’s new baby daughter was given the all-clear and was due to go home today.