20/12/2012 07:16 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

New Mum Saves Baby's Life After Ambulance Fails To Arrive

New mum saves baby's life after ambulance fails to show up Archant

A terrified new mum brought her one-week-old baby boy back to life after he stopped breathing and an ambulance failed to turn up to help.

Marie Fricker, 37, said tiny Oliver would have died had she not acted before rushing him to Bristol Children's Hospital.

She leapt into action after Oliver suddenly went limp and blue in the home she shares with partner Nicholas Carter, 37, in, Somerset, on Monday December 10.

Dad Nicholas, a printing company sales executive, said: "I am just thankful that nothing happened to our baby and he was OK, but I don't want anyone else to go through this."

Pre-school assistant Marie, who luckily has completed first aid training, began to massage Oliver's chest as she frantically called 999 for help.

But despite assurances from two control room staff and an NHS Direct nurse who called her, no ambulance appeared.

A rapid response vehicle finally showed up 90 minutes after their first 999 call, but by then the shocked couple had sped seriously-ill Oliver to hospital themselves.

The newborn infant stopped breathing again moments before reaching doctors and Marie was unable to bring him round a second time.

Luckily doctors managed to resuscitate Oliver on arrival.

Marie, who also has three other children, said: "I first noticed there was something wrong when I went to lift Oliver and I knew something wasn't right by his colour and how limp he was.

"I thought 'something's wrong' and my nine-year-old asked me if he was dead. I tried to rouse him and he felt cold, so I moved away from the other children into the other room.

"He wasn't breathing so I started to massage his chest and dialled 999 and was told 'be assured, help is on its way'. After 10 minutes there was no sign of an ambulance and I was trying to control myself. I dialled 999 again and spoke to someone different who also told me help was on its way.


A nurse then called me and she told me the ambulance service was very busy that night. I didn't want to hear that when I had almost lost my baby, so we decided to take him to the children's hospital ourselves.


"Not far from there he stopped breathing again. I started massaging his chest but he was limp, blue and lifeless. It was absolutely horrendous and something went incredibly wrong with the ambulance service. By the time the first paramedic showed up at 9.30pm we had already arrived at the hospital and he had been resuscitated a second time.

"I hope we can prevent the same thing happening again to anyone else."

Doctors kept Oliver in overnight and are carrying out further tests in a bid to discover what caused him to stop breathing.

A Great Western Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We are sorry the family are concerned about how we responded to their 999 call for their young baby, but hope he is recovering well.

"We have received a complaint from the family and have contacted them to assure them a full investigation will be carried out. That investigation is now under way and we would look to share its findings with the family in the first instance.

"If patients or their families have concerns about the care we provide we encourage them to share those with us as we use them as genuine opportunities to identify how we can make improvements."

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