Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Baby rescue nurse gives CPR message

Tanya Allen performed CPR on baby Sam after his puschchair fell into a marina in Watchet, Somerset

A nurse who helped save a baby's life after the pushchair he was in fell into a marina says she hopes the incident will help raise awareness of the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Psychiatric nurse Tanya Allen was one of the first on the scene when six-month-old Sam Cooper-Stevens was pulled from the icy waters of Watchet, Somerset, shortly after 8am on Sunday.

Dock master George Reeder immediately jumped in to help after Sam's mother, Kate, began screaming for someone to rescue her child. Mr Reeder, 63, dived in to bring the baby to the surface, where a team of rescuers quickly fashioned a hoist to pull Sam from the water.

Mrs Allen, 43, heard the baby's mother's calls for help and immediately began performing resuscitation. The baby began coughing shortly after being laid down on the marina wall and was later transferred to hospital, where his condition is said to have vastly improved.

Sam's rescue has been described as "a miracle" by well-wishers and members of the community. Mrs Allen claimed her actions were "instinctive" but said a greater knowledge of resuscitation across society would further reduce the risk of fatalities in the future.

Speaking from the scene of the accident, Mrs Allen, who lives locally and was off-duty at the time, said: "I am so pleased that I have been trained several times, year after year. My husband said to me: 'I'm so glad you knew what to do, because I wouldn't.'"

Reliving the incident, Mrs Allen described how she feared the worst when the baby was pulled from the water.

"Some water then started to come from his mouth, he started to take a few breaths," she said. "I thought to myself: 'Maybe it is going to be okay', but I didn't think it was going to be. I didn't think he was going to survive, to be honest, no. But I thought I will do it (resuscitation) anyway. You know, you've got to have a go."

Mrs Allen described Mr Reeder as "superman" and praised the emergency services for their swift response to the 999 call. But Mr Reeder downplayed talk of his heroics, saying: "I'm just the fella that jumped in. I am glad I could help."

Sam's father Martyn Stevens made an emotional return to the scene where he paid tribute to rescuers. Mr Stevens said: "I want to say thank you to everyone that helped out. The response of everyone was amazing and I don't think you can get any better than that. It goes to show Watchet is a great place."

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