A father-of-three has said he will be forever grateful to a hero health worker who saved his son’s life who “nearly died” after choking on food .
Aidan Martin, 36, was on the phone to his mum who was helping his partner Samantha, 29, look after their six-month-old baby Leon when the tot turned blue and fell unconscious after choking on a piece of food.
Leon was with his mum, gran, sister Katie, five, and her friend at Polkemmet Park near Whitburn on Saturday when he started having difficulty breathing.
Mr Martin, from Polbeth, West Lothian, said: “Samantha took him out of his pram to try and help him but she understandably started panicking. My mum just screamed for help and that’s when a woman, who was just footsteps away, came running.
“The fact that we had someone so nearby who had the skill set to help and wasn’t emotionally attached was like fate, I don’t really know how else to describe it.”
The stranger, who wants to remain anonymous, works as a health visitor and had training in how to deal with the situation.
Leon had become unconscious and was blue and floppy, so the health worker started doing ‘back-blows’ on his back to try and dislodge the food.
While the woman worked on his son, Mr Martin, who had stayed at home, received a phone call from his mum to explain what was happening.
He said: “My mum told me what was happening and I just fell to my knees and started praying to God.
“I was in so much shock that I started putting on my shoes, forgetting that Samantha had the car and that I was at least 25 minutes away. There was literally nothing I could do but listen to what was happening. I thought I was listening to my baby son dying.”
Thankfully, he felt a rush of relief when he heard his youngest son’s cries - a sign that the object which had been blocking his airways had been dislodged.
An ambulance, which had been called during the commotion, arrived shortly after and described the woman’s response as “textbook”.
A precautionary trip to St John’s Hospital revealed that Leon was absolutely fine and that the incident had caused no short or long-term damage.
Mr Martin, who is also dad to nine-year-old Quinn, said he and his partner had now come to terms with how different the outcome could have been should their son’s “guardian angel” not have been there.
The pair are now determined to spread the word of their traumatic experience and encourage everyone to educate themselves on baby first aid.
He added: “Leon is just back to his normal, smiley and happy self. It’s us adults who are traumatised by what happened.
“The ambulance crew said that she [the health worker] had done their job for them. Everything they would have done, she had already done.
“We will be grateful for the rest of our lives. She doesn’t want to be named and to be seen as gloating for doing her job but to us, she has saved our son’s life and saved us a world of pain.”
“I’ll be on a campaign now to raise awareness. I feel really determined to spread the word of what happened and prevent anyone else from feeling like we have the past few days.”