Tina Westlake, 34, said her son Kane, now eight weeks old, “wouldn’t be here” were it not for the actions of 24-year-old Emily White who administered emergency first aid she had recently learnt and carried out CPR until paramedics arrived.
Kane stopped breathing after choking on milk after being laid down for a sleep at the family home in Foulsham, prompting a panic-striken Mrs Westlake to run out into the street to scream for help, carrying her son in her arms.
Neighbour Mrs White, who was on her way to pick her daughter Jorgie up from school, heard the screams and ran back to put into practice skills picked up at a course run by First Aid at Work Norfolk, based at Ringland Road in Taverham.
The mother-of-two, who went on the course to help her secure a job as a first-aider for Fakenham-based Med PTS, said the “excellent” training she received meant she was able to calmly deal with the unfolding emergency.
Paramedics said Mrs White’s actions helped save Kane’s life.
He spent four days at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital following the ordeal but is back at home now having “bounced back really well”.
Mrs White has encouraged others to take the same first aid course, as has Kane’s mum who has described her neighbour as a “guardian angel”.
Mrs Westlake, who lives at Aubrey Rix Close, with her husband Lee, 40, and other children, Leah, two, and Casey, eight, said: “I will be forever in her debt.
“I will never, ever be able to repay her. I really thought we had lost him. Without Emily he wouldn’t be here.”
The drama unfolded shortly after lunchtime on Tuesday, June 2 – Mrs Westlake’s birthday – when Kane started to choke.
Mrs Westlake said: “I just went running out of the house with him in my arms screaming and shouting. Panic set in. I didn’t know what to do.
“I was screaming ‘help me, help me’ and Emily was on her way to school and heard me and came over and gave Kane mouth-to-mouth. She gave him CPR for 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived.”
Describing the moment she took over, Mrs White, who lives with her husband Craig, 28, and children Jorgie, three, and Mason, two, said: “He was just blue and limp.
“I got her to call an ambulance and did cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for 20 minutes until ambulance crews and the air ambulance arrived.
Mrs White said she was able to remain calm after remembering the training given to her at the First Aid at Work course earlier in the year.
She said: “I was calm at first. It was the first time I had come face-to-face with something like that but I just used everything that Andy had taught me.”
Mrs White, who has encouraged other mums she knows to take the course, said as many people as possible should undergo first aid training.
She said: “The course was excellent. He was such a good teacher and I would recommend anyone do his courses. If it hadn’t been for him I wouldn’t have learnt these skills and had the confidence to carry out what I did.”
Mrs Westlake agreed and added: “It would be fantastic if everyone were first aid trained and could do it.”