A Northampton mum is calling for baby CPR training to be given free to expectant parents.
Dakota Tarry-Spencer, from St Crispin’s, is mum to a toddler – Nevaeh – and newborn twins – Marley and Winnie, who are now eight weeks old.
The 23-year-old’s worst nightmare happened on August 23 when, one day in London, Marley stopped breathing. The frightened mum ran outside “screaming for help”. Fortunately, someone called an ambulance.
Dakota said: “I practically froze when it happened, but within seconds I realized that if I didn’t do something he wouldn’t survive until the ambulance arrived. He was completely blue and limp.
“I immediately started doing mouth to mouth, then chest compressions. He went back to normal color and he was crying, then in the same breath he stopped again and was lifeless again.
“I did CPR again, but it just wasn’t enough, we needed oxygen.
“The ambulance arrived and he was still having episodes of respiratory arrest for long periods of time. He was put on oxygen and transported to A&E.
“While they were at A&E, they realized he needed to be sedated and put on a ventilator so he could stop working so hard to catch his breath.”
The family was transferred to St George’s Hospital in London where there was room in pediatric intensive care. Marley remained on a ventilator until Saturday August 27. He was transferred to Northampton General Hospital on Tuesday (August 30), before being allowed to return home on Thursday (September 1).
Dakota says he’s still breathing “a little too fast” and learning to breathe on his own again, but now that the devoted mum has had time to reflect, she wants to force change and make sure all parents know how help their little ones, if the worst happens.
She added: “We still have a long way to go, but we are so grateful that he is here.
“After figuring out what had happened, which took a few days, I shared my story of what was happening on social media and realized how many parents don’t know about infant or child CPR. baby.
“I only knew about baby CPR because my twins were premature and without completing baby CPR training you can’t get out of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“I think now of the hundreds and thousands of moms and babies who don’t have a NICU stay and leave the hospital without knowing basic CPR.
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“My petition is to lobby for all mothers to be taught baby CPR for free before leaving the hospital with a newborn. Either during a routine appointment with a midwife or during a a prenatal course.
“That 15 minutes of your time could potentially save your baby’s life or even a baby down the street, should the worst happen.
“I really hope no one ever needs to use it, but unfortunately it’s common for babies to stop breathing for a variety of reasons.”
Dakota’s petition, which was put up on the morning of August 31, has already received more than 5,000 signatures, which is halfway to the goal needed for the government to respond.