Mystery man saves drowning toddler

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An ambulance service has called for a mystery man whose "swift" actions saved a toddler from drowning in Swindon to come forward.

The 15-month-old boy is recovering in hospital after slipping into the lagoon by a roadside in Liden on Monday afternoon.

Great Western Ambulance Service (Gwas) wants the mystery member of the public, who gave vital mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, to come forward and be thanked in person.

The service received several 999 calls shortly after 4pm reporting the toddler had gone into the water, alongside the A419. Gwas sent two paramedics in rapid-response vehicles, backed up by two ambulances and an officer, with the first crew on scene within seven minutes of the first call.

The baby was out of the water by the time they arrived, but had gone into cardiac arrest. However the courageous passer-by was already giving mouth-to-mouth, supported by the ambulance call handler giving advice over the phone.

The first paramedic on the scene then took over ventilating the baby using pure oxygen. He was taken to Great Western Hospital by ambulance, accompanied by his mother, with the crew notifying hospital staff they were on their way. The baby had started breathing by himself again by the time they arrived at hospital, but he was taken to the paediatric unit for further treatment and assessment.

Gwas officer Steve Blackmore said: "When our crew left hospital, the patient was breathing without support, sitting up and crying lustily. Although there will be further tests for any complications, this appears to be a happy outcome for what could so easily have ended in tragedy.

"A combination of swift first aid from the passer-by, our crews' skills and rapid action in transferring him to a specialist unit has given him the very best chance. Our staff were entirely focused on treating the patient, so didn't get any details of the passer-by - but their swift intervention highlights the importance of people learning basic first aid skills."

There was no time to take the man's name at the scene as the priority was getting the child to hospital.

A Gwas spokesman added: "We welcome the opportunity to thank him in person, and I'm sure he would want to know the outcome."