Shaunna Farley – Friday 16th October – 10:35am.
Crews have been reunited with a mother and her healthy baby girl whose life they helped to save earlier this year.
West Midlands Ambulance Service were called when Gemma Greensmith went into labour outside of her home in Stoke at just 26 weeks back in June. Gemma gave birth to her new-born daughter, Raelyn, before paramedics arrived. Gemma and her family quickly realised Raelyn was not breathing.
Gemma said: “I was absolutely terrified and then relieved beyond belief when the ambulance arrived. Giving birth at 26 weeks in the cab of a lorry outside of my house wasn’t how I imagined it to happen at all.”
Stoke Operations Manager Ian Yates together with ambulance crew Paramedics Kirsty Lockett and Jenine Cryle quickly arrived on scene to find the family doing CPR on the newborn.
Kirsty said: “I think, when you attend jobs like that one, you just go into pilot mode. I just wanted to make sure I could reassure Gemma as much as possible while I was doing CPR on Raelyn, as understandably she was absolutely terrified.”
Jenine, her crewmate, agreed and said: “When we arrived it was very stressful as the baby was still attached to her mum, but Kirsty and I were able to work out what to do very quickly as we work together regularly.”
On their arrival at hospital, neonatal consultants told the crew that if it wasn’t for their actions, Raelyn may not have survived. After 110 days in hospital at Royal Stoke Maternity Hospital, Raelyn was discharged and able to go home.
Through a mutual friend in the ambulance service, the family were able to make contact with the team who saved Raelyn and arranged to meet, safely with social distancing in place, to say thank you.
Kirsty said: “This has absolutely made my career, nothing will ever compare to the feeling of meeting Gemma and Raelyn and seeing them happy and healthy.” Kirsty had even taken the opportunity to get some balloons and gifts for Gemma and Raelyn and she said “I’m a big softie, as soon as I heard Raelyn was healthy and being discharged, and that I had the opportunity to meet the family, I went straight out to buy them some gifts!”
Ian continued: “It’s an incredibly humbling feeling to know that you have played a part in saving a life and ordinarily, we don’t get to see what happens once we’ve handed a patient over in hospital so this experience was definitely touching.”
Jenine said: “Responding to such a terrible job and being able to get such a positive outcome is once in a life-time and this is definitely one of my proudest moments in my career.”
Kirsty added: “This year has been so hard for everyone and this happening has really bought about some positivity. I work with such an amazing team and I don’t think the outcome of this job would have happened if it weren’t for the amazing team-work from all of the people there that day.”
This story is just another reason why it’s so important to learn how to do CPR. On Restart a Heart Day, we’re encouraging everyone to learn these vital skills as it could mean the difference between a love one at home, a colleague at work or a stranger in the street living or dying. For more information, head to https://wmas.nhs.uk/restart-a-heart-day-october-16th-2020/