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Parents' petition to introduce infant CPR


By Rachel Armitage


After a terrifying incident where their baby boy stopped breathing, his parents have started a campaign to arm new parents with life-saving knowledge.

Neil and Candice Smith, from Bingham, are campaigning to have infant CPR taught to new parents after their baby Tommy went into cardiac arrest when he was just 11 months old.

Neil called 999 and East Midlands Ambulance Service call handler Stacey Byard provided CPR instructions to Neil over the phone, giving baby Tommy the best chance of survival.

Neil, Candice and Tommy Smith, 17 months, have started a petition to make CPR training mandatory for new parents. (13875549)
Neil, Candice and Tommy Smith, 17 months, have started a petition to make CPR training mandatory for new parents. (13875549)

Candice said: "It seems so crazy that something as simple as even learning 30 compressions, two puffs could be the difference between life and death."

Tommy has been fitted with an internal defibrillator designed to shock him if his heart stops again, and in the six weeks following the incident, he had a further 11 episodes where his heart needed to be shocked and he was re-admitted to hospital.

After doctors ran a few more tests and altered his medication, which he now takes five times a day, he has been episode-free ever since.

The cause of the episodes is still unknown, and tests will shortly be done on both Candice and Neil to check for hereditary conditions.

Footage of the 999 call Neil made was released by EMAS, and has since had over 250,000 views on Facebook.

Candice said: "Listening to the 999 call really brought it all home for us and so many people have said that it should be compulsory for new parents, and it made us think."

Tommy Smith, 17 months,'s parents Neil and Candice have started a petition to make CPR training mandatory for new parents. (13875551)
Tommy Smith, 17 months,'s parents Neil and Candice have started a petition to make CPR training mandatory for new parents. (13875551)

Following the incident, Neil and Candice were talking about what happened and they agreed that, thankfully, Neil remained calm and knew how to do CPR due to his football coaching - and had coincidently completed a refresher course just the month before Tommy became poorly - but would other parents know what to do?

So the couple have started a petition to make infant CPR training mandatory for new parents, and are looking for the support of other families to have the petition discussed in Parliament.

"We want it to be taught to parents when the health visitor comes over for the four-day health check, if they could bring a Resusci-Annie mannequin with them to teach the parents that would be brilliant. "

Neil said: "It would be ideal for parents to have the training when their baby is here as it will be more real for them. Plus it would be better to have the training taught at home by a health visitor, as not everyone is happy doing it at a large group with people watching."

Candice added: "To have the reassurance and knowledge to save a life would be amazing, and even if it saves one baby's life, it will be worth it."

The petition is currently under review and will be going live this week.

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