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David’s first aid skills save choking baby

Homes Plus plasterer David Rossiter has been hailed a hero, after jumping into action to administer emergency first aid to a poorly baby boy.

David was working in one of our homes in Staffordshire when he heard someone banging on the front door and found a distraught mother from a neighbouring property, desperately looking for help for her infant.

“It all happened so quickly; I didn’t have time to panic. The woman handed her baby to me and told me that he had swallowed something. I could see that he was in a very bad way, so I put him in the choke position and carried out emergency first aid. While I did that, I asked the baby’s mother to call for an ambulance,” he explained.

David’s quick actions meant that by the time the paramedics arrived, the choke hazard was safely removed.

After a couple of days in hospital the baby was released, to continue his recovery at home. His relieved mother has been in touch to thank David, telling him that he saved the life of her child.

She said: “This was by far the worst day of my life. My baby boy was choking, I was on my own and, despite trying to save him myself, I went into panic mode and screamed for help.

“David was there and he saved my baby boy’s life and helped me when I needed it most and I will forever be grateful and thankful for his actions that day.

“The paramedics that were present even praised him to me, as they said the outcome could have been a lot different if he hadn’t of reacted the way he did. He is a true hero and thanks to him my little boy is happy and healthy and getting ready to celebrate his first birthday in a few weeks’ time. I’m forever grateful, thank you.”

David says what happened that day didn’t sink in until he got home that night.

He added: “I’m pleased everything worked out and the little man is OK but I’m embarrassed to be called any kind of hero. I just did what any of us would do and fortunately, I had the first aid training to help in an emergency. Really, it was teamwork. If the mother hadn’t noticed I was there and thought to run to the home I was working in, the situation could have become even more serious.

“Everything that happened only really sank in when I got home that night and thought about how we would have felt, if something like that had happened to one of our grandchildren.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service have praised David. A spokesman said: “We would like to praise Mr Rossiter for his quick-thinking actions and being prepared to assist and help dislodge the choke hazard.

“Our crews arrived on scene within four minutes of the 999 call being made, by which time Mr Rossiter’s back slaps had ensured the patient was breathing normally again.

“We would encourage everyone to learn first aid skills as you never know when it might be your turn to try and save a life.”

In recognition of his quick response, David has been presented with an award by Executive director of property at Homes Plus, Andrew Kenny.

He said: “We are incredibly proud of what Dave did that day. He remembered his first aid training, stayed calm and acted quickly to make a positive difference. I know that he doesn’t like to think of himself as a hero but that’s what he is – to that family and to all of us.”