A mum-of-three is urging all parents to learn first aid after her son stopped breathing at just four weeks old.
Kristy Will, from Suffolk, was holding her son Louis when he went grey and floppy in her arms. He’d been ill earlier in the day, but she’d assumed it was just a normal winter bug.
Quick-thinking Kristy used the ‘kiss of life’ technique, which involves gently blowing into the mouth and rubbing the back, and with the guidance of a 999 operator, managed to restore his breathing until an ambulance arrived.
‘It was terrifying because he was just 7lb 2oz and so tiny so I knew I had to be careful not to blow too hard. I kept calm and managed to keep going until the responder arrived and took over. Then I just burst into tears of shock,’ she told Mail Online.
Louis was later diagnosed with bronchiolitis, a condition which presents in a similar way to a common cold but is actually much more serious. He was admitted to a neonatal ward and put on a ventilator, and was in and out of hospital for several days afterwards.
‘I’d never even heard of it but was told it was very common in children in cold and flu season,’ she admitted.
‘Because it’s viral I was told there was no treatment other than to manage his symptoms, help him breathe and wait it out.
‘Now I know how many kids this condition can affect I want all mums to know first aid because the kiss of life saved Louis.’
Kristy, who is also mum to Isabella, five, and Ethan, three, said she’d learned the kiss of life from attending Girl Guides when she was younger, and had also seen her own mother demonstrate it on a puppy.
She’s now campaigning for all parents to learn basic first ahead ahead of cold and flu season, as well as raising money for Addenbrooks Hospital, where Louis was treated.
‘While I was in Addenbrooks I was told that one third of the babies in intensive care were there because of bronchiolitis yet so many mums have not heard of it,’ she said.
‘That’s why I want to tell my son’s story because this year will be no different and parents need to know what to do.’
‘Our story could have been so different. It is so important that people learns first aid. The kiss of life saved my baby. He simply wouldn’t be here now without it.’