Yesterday, I tuned in to watch ‘This Morning’, I was shocked to see the current topic of a mum and dad who allowed their child’s tragic death be filmed on the channel 4 programme Inside Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Their son, Leyton, who was just 9 months old and choked on a piece of plastic which unfortunately blocked his airways and his heart stopped beating. They also showed a clip of the programme where you see his life-less body. You can see the clip here. Although the footage is very upsetting, it is educating to other parents.
At least one child dies from choking on food every 5 days in the United States, it’s astonishing to know how fatal it can be. As Holly gets older, considering she is just 5 months old, I find myself constantly picking things up and taking things out of her hands, especially when the boys leave their Lego pieces laying around. This story has definitely scared me, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s a very courageous thing for those parents to share such a traumatic experience for both themselves and their baby, but it’s to make other parents aware and to educate.
It took me back to when Holly was 2-3 months old. Suddenly she began having these choking episodes which scared the life out of me and Rob. I couldn’t leave the room without her, I couldn’t sleep, scared if I wouldn’t be able to hear her and petrified thinking about the outcome if I hadn’t been there to pick her up and help her catch her breath. Although she wasn’t choking on anything (which we did think at the time) it’s the sheer panic of those few seconds where they’re unable to breathe, it could last up to 10 seconds or 40 seconds which felt like minutes.
One morning it happened, I called NHS 111 and asked for advice. They were concerned, so they asked for me to take Holly into the children’s ward, where we spent hours waiting and we were finally told we had to stay overnight.
Observations were done throughout the night and she was attached to a monitor to check her oxygen and pulse levels. Each time the alarm sounded I jumped out of bed, luckily, each time it did was only due to it falling off her very small foot. I didn’t get any sleep whatsoever.
Come the morning, we saw a doctor who explained her results and what could be the reason for her constant choking. We were told it was silent reflux, a severe one in our case. In the case that if I hadn’t have been there to quickly pick her up and pat her back when she was choking, I don’t like to think what could have happened, and I made the doctor aware of that.
We were advised to attend a first aid course in the hospital so we were educated in what to do if she was to choke and stopped breathing. I am so thankful that we were taught, to have the peace of mind that I would be able to help Holly, and the 3 boys if anything was to ever happen.
I think, and I’m sure many of you will agree, how important it is to learn how to give a baby/child or adult CPR, and what to do if you were to be in a position of someone choking.
ITV This Morning posted the video footage of the demonstration on their Facebook page, which you can view here.