“I learnt first aid for my baby girl but saved another”
Rowena learnt first aid after having her baby daughter. Little did she know that she would end up saving another baby’s life.
Rowena and her daughter. Photo: Teri Pengilley
Rowena was in the café at a department store when she heard a loud commotion. Looking round, she saw a mother trying to help her baby who was choking on some food.
“She was screaming ‘My baby, my baby’ over and over again,” Rowena recalls.
Having done a baby and child first aid course with the British Red Cross, Rowena felt confident that she could help.
“I sat on a chair and held the baby girl face down along the length of my left leg with her head lower than my knee,” she said. “I then started to give her back blows – hitting her firmly on the back between the shoulder blades. Upon delivering the second or third back blow, the baby girl started to cry, so I realised that she could now breathe and that the blockage in her throat had gone.”
Rowena handed the girl back to her mother, reassuring her that everything was now okay. She then realised that her own hands were shaking from the adrenalin of it all.
“I'm just grateful that I was there at the right time to be able to help,” she says.
Rowena encourages other parents she knows to learn first aid. “You never know when you’re going to need it,” she says. “Hopefully a story like mine makes people realise that this should be a priority.”
Learning baby first aid. Photo: Nisbet Wylie
Learn first aid
The British Red Cross First aid for baby and child course is available from £45 per person at venues around the UK. Find out more here