A brave mother and a quick-thinking police officer have been reunited during the Christmas run up in the presence of a special baby boy, whose life they both saved earlier this year.
Baby Harrison Paine’s life hung in the balance one night when he stopped breathing, just days after leaving hospital weighing a tiny four pounds.
His mother, Jo Paine, was checking her son in the early hours on 5 September 2014, when she saw that he was unresponsive and not breathing in his cot.
Jo immediately called 999 and started CPR. Wandsworth response team officer PC Steve Norton arrived at her door in a matter of minutes. PC Norton then made a unique judgement call to run with the baby in his arms to a nearby Accident and Emergency department to ensure no valuable time was lost in getting Harrison immediate medical attention. Steve sprinted 300 yards to St George’s Hospital from the home address in Blackshaw Road in Tooting.
The baby received the treatment he needed and made a full recovery.
Jo, the babyâ€™s mother said: “My world crashed before my eyes the night I found my beautiful baby had stopped breathing. He hadn’t woken up for his feed, his skin had turned grey and his eyes were still. I immediately lay him on my bed and starting chest compressions and rescue breathing into his mouth and nose, just as I had been taught at hospital days before Harrison and I had been discharged. He responded and made a noise before he started to shallow breathe. PC Steve Norton arrived at my door and immediately handed Harrison over to him. I did this with complete trust and confidence. At that moment in time, I believed that he would do all he could to help my baby.”
PC Steve Norton said: “Seeing Harrison and Jo happy and well in the run up to Christmas has been the most worthwhile and heart-warming experiences of my career. I will never forget the moment Jo handed Harrison to me; I looked down at his face and it dawned on me that this could have easily been my baby who was a toddler at the time. I knew that every second was crucial to for this tiny baby who was not breathing properly. Jo was the one to initiate CPR and I have no doubt that her actions allowed me the time to get him to hospital. Sprinting with a fragile baby in heavy body armour was exhausting and stressful, but the moment I handed him to the medical professionals in the resuscitation room, I knew that I did absolutely everything I could for Harrison and Jo.”
Jo was taught baby CPR at St George’s Hospital a matter of days before Harrison was discharged. He was born weighing only 879grams and spent the first month of his life in intensive care and on a ventilator. He later developed severe reflux which caused sleep aptnea.
Jo added: ” Harrison is now a bouncing 9lb baby, loving his food and cuddles. He has been through so much and he has proven to be one tough little cookie! The support and specialist care Harrison and I received from medical staff during the first three months of his life was fantastic. During this time I was given advice and lifesaving skills which become the most important thing I would ever learn. I never thought I would ever have to use these new skills. Learning CPR is so important and I hope that every mum has the confidence and belief to carry out this important lifesaving action if it is ever needed.”
Wandsworth Borough Commander, Detective Chief Superintendant Richard Smith said: “PC Nortonâ€™s actions are a reminder to us all, how we, as police officers, are constantly faced with challenging scenarios which require skill, determination and total professionalism. I would like to place on record my recognition of PC Norton’s outstanding actions. This courageous act has touched us all and Steve’s incredible humility which he has displayed throughout is testimony to his complete commitment to serving his community.”