A mum-of-five says it is a “miracle” that she can celebrate Christmas with her baby after her young son and neighbours helped to save her daughter’s life.
Rachael Booth needed help when baby Carmel Poole, who was just one month old, stopped breathing.
She dialled 999 and asked Carmel’s nine-year-old brother Vinnie Cryer to run from their home on Blackstone Road, Chorley, to get help from neighbours.
Alan Widdows and nurse Angie Bose carried out CPR on Carmel until paramedics arrived.
And after spending six days at Royal Preston Hospital, Carmel is now back at home and doing well.
Rachael, 27, said: “I’m just so lucky to have her and to celebrate Christmas knowing that we have her.
“If it hadn’t been for my next-door neighbour and the nurse and my son running to get them, she wouldn’t be here.”Rachael Booth
“It’s a miracle really.”
Little Carmel had been coughing and being sick and was diagnosed as having a common cold.
But the following day, Rachael knew something serious was wrong when Carmel’s eyes rolled into her head, the colour drained from her and she became floppy.
She asked Vinnie, a pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, to get help from a neighbour and she phoned 999.
Rachael, who is also mum to one-year-old Casey, Kayla, four, and Faye, eight, said: “It was horrible. I can only describe it as the most scary day of my life. By this point I was getting quite hysterical.”
Vinnie knocked on Alan’s door and told him the baby had stopped breathing.
Alan, 69, went to the house, took Carmel and started doing resuscitation. He also told Vinnie to get help from nurse Angie.
“He ran out in his stockinged feet. He was a little hero. He deserves all the praise, he was fantastic,” he said.
Angie, 45, was getting ready to go to work as a district nurse in Garstang when Vinnie knocked on her door.
She said: “He asked if I was a nurse and I said yes and he said, ‘Quick, quick, come, you need to help us’.
“I went to the house. I saw little Carmel on the floor, not looking well at all, not breathing.
“I did routine checks and did CPR on her. I had to breathe for her and do compressions.”
Carmel started to breathe a little and making some noise, but Angie continued doing CPR until the paramedics arrived and took over.
She was given oxygen but did not come round, so she was rushed to Royal Preston Hospital by ambulance.
Rachael and her partner Steven Poole were told that the first 24 hours were “extremely critical” and Carmel stopped breathing several times.
She was diagnosed with bronchiolitis, a lower respiratory tract infection which was particularly serious due to her age.
She was treated in hospital before being allowed to go home six days later and is now doing well.
Rachael did not know her neighbours well before but says she will be “forever grateful” to the people who saved her baby’s life.
She said: “If it hadn’t been for my next-door neighbour and the nurse and my son running to get them, she wouldn’t be here.”
She also thanked the paramedics and hospital staff who cared for Carmel.
Angie said she was glad that she was there to help Carmel and joined Alan in praising Vinnie.
She said: “For him to come knocking on somebody’s door that he doesn’t know, he’s a brave little soldier.”