UK

Junior Doctors Strike: Mother Reveals Incredible Story Behind Toddler's Placard After Picture Goes Viral

12/01/2016 15:46 GMT | Updated 12/01/2016 15:59 GMT

A woman was compelled to share the moving story of how a junior doctor, working at 3am on a Saturday, saved her child's life, after a picture of her son holding a sign went viral.

Thousands of junior doctors are on strike over proposals put forward by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Medics say the new contracts will result in overworked staff who are in danger of making mistakes and putting patients' lives at risk.

A picture was taken at Manchester Royal Infirmary on Tuesday of a woman standing with her son holding a sign that reads: "A junior doctor saved my life and my mummy's too."

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Toddler stands with his mother at a picket line outside Manchester Royal Infirmary

The image has been shared widely on social media.

Using the name Geralt of Rivia on Twitter, the mother detailed her incredible story of how a junior doctor saved her child's - and probably her own - life when she went into labour on a Friday night.

She explains how, hours after being admitted, she was told by the midwife that they could not find her baby's heartbeat.

A junior doctor was alerted and the child was born at 3am on a Saturday.

She writes that her child would most likely not be alive if the doctor had worked a "dangerously long" shift.

In a series of tweets she writes: "Okay, so this picture of my bairn is doing the rounds and I think the story that goes with it is probably important.

"I went into labour on a Friday. Having had a very blasé day of minor contractions, we went into the ward at 8pm. I was triaged.

"After saying I didn't want to go home, even only being a few cm dilated, I met the first of three junior doctors. She moved me to antenatal.

"I wasn't the intended use of the antenatal ward, and despite not having my notes, that doctor evaluated my situation and found me a bed. I was on antenatal for less than an hour (it felt like forever, let me tell you), when they found another junior doctor."

doctors

The mother explains that her son would not be alive if it weren't for a junior doctor

She continues: "The second junior doctor agreed to move me to the labour ward the moment I was dilated enough, and made sure I was given adequate meds.

"I had an epidural, then slept til around 3am. The staff made every effort to accommodate me. They turned down the lights so I could sleep.

"They found Jos a blanket so she could sleep too. At 3am, the midwife woke me gently without taking the lights up, and said that they had lost #stripelet's heartbeat. She was calm and soothing and said he'd probably just moved from the monitor and that she'd attach another.

"Within 30 seconds, the room was bright and full of staff. A man I had seen on my way in, sat in the room/cupboard labelled 'junior doctors', was suddenly in front of me, explaining quickly and as clearly as he could that he was going to save my child. I wasn't given time to fear.

"It took three minutes exactly from this point to when #stripelet was born. He let me touch him before taking him to the resuscitator.

"This junior doctor, working at 3am on an otherwise vacant ward on a Saturday talked me through patching me up, and gave me more anaesthetic.

"I cannot imagine being that alert at 3am on a Saturday, and being that fast and clear and caring. But that doctor who saved #stripelet was.

"If he had worked a dangerously long shift in the run up to that 3am emergency, #stripelet probably wouldn't be alive. Neither would I.

"That calmness, precision, and alertness, which takes a huge amount of discipline already, is under attack. #notsafenotfair

"I do not want to imagine what could have happened to #stripelet and to other babies like him if it had taken more than 3 minutes.

"Please remember that the people on strike today are people, and they are heroes, but they are not magical, or untiring, or infallible.

"If you want to be treated by heroes rather than fallible people, then you need to give them space to be people outside of work."

People were moved by the mother's testimony and thanked her for sharing her story.

Thousands of doctors took to picket lines across the country in their fight for fairer terms and conditions as part of revisions to their employment contracts.

Earlier, dozens of medics were recalled to work by an NHS hospital in West Bromwich amid a "level 4 alert".

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