Blackpool mum calls for Government to fund specialist 999 training: '˜If it wasn't for Brent, we wouldn't be here today'
A heavily-pregnant Blackpool mum nearly bled to death during an emergency that started when she was shopping in Sainsbury's.
Both Natasha Davies and her baby Michael were minutes from dying after she suffered a placental disruption, which causes massive blood loss.
Now recovering from her ordeal at home, the 29-year-old has praised the senior paramedic whose quick-thinking meant she and her son survived.
She also called on the government to fund the specialist training Brent Kenny took through a charity so more paramedics know what to do in a similar scenario.
Natasha, who also suffered a placental disruption when her 11-year-old son Callum was born, said: “When it happened the first time, I was in the hospital and I was lucky.
“This time I was at home and I thought I was going to lose my son. But the paramedic knew exactly what he was doing thanks to the training.
“If it was not for him, we would not be here today. My children would have lost their mum, and my husband would have lost his wife.
“I want our story to be out there so somebody in the government can give the money to train paramedics up.”
Natasha and her husband Robert, a 27-year-old window cleaner, had been to a hospital appointment on Wednesday, September 5, for a pre-operation examination ahead of a planned Caesarean section the day after.
They went to Sainsbury’s, in Talbot Road in Blackpool town centre, for formula milk when Natasha felt a pain in her lower stomach.
“I thought it was because I had been examined and they were prodding and poking,” she said.
But when the pair got off the bus near their Warley Road home, she thought her waters had broken.
After Robert spotted blood, they flagged down a passing motorist and asked them to call 999.
“They were on the phone talking to the control room,” Natasha said.
“They asked me if I could get to my house because I was only up the road and so Robert could see what’s happening.
“We got into the house, just about, and Robert got me on the floor.”
Natasha began bleeding heavily and knew that, despite the 999 operator asking if the baby was coming, she was suffering from an abruption, a serious condition where the placenta starts coming away from the womb wall – which means the support system for the baby is failing.
She said: “The paramedic took one look at me and knew exactly what was happening. He was on the phone to the control room and told them.
“Then he called the delivery suite and said he was bringing me in and they needed to get theatre ready.
“The only thing he knew about me was my name. All that was in his head was to get me off the floor and to the hospital.
“We got there and there was a load of doctors and nurses.” Medics used a foetal heartbeat monitor and then a scan to find baby Michael’s “flicker” of a heartbeat, Natasha said, before she was taken into theatre.
After coming round, she learned both she and Michael, who was placed in an incubator, had been brought back to life. She lost four pints of blood. He was born weighing 5lb 11oz.
Remarkably, just 48 hours later they were at the home they also share with five-year-old Hayleigh, and are now both doing well.
“I want paramedics to get this training to save more lives,” Natasha said.
“If we were a couple of minutes later to theatre, me and my baby would have lost our lives. We call him our miracle baby. He survived and we didn’t think he would.”
Paramedics are well-trained, including in maternity, but senior and advanced medics working for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) were enrolled on charity Baby Lifeline’s childbirth emergencies in the community course.
Mr Kenny, who insists he was “just doing my job”, said: “It gave me more experience and more of an insight and underpinning knowledge above the required level.
“It’s very rewarding and I’m very keen to make sure I keep developing my knowledge. By doing it, I’m able to provide the best possible care.
“I have been to multiple childbirth emergencies. The training really does help. It’s a lovely feeling.”
A Blackpool Victoria Hospital spokesman said: “This was an example of excellent teamwork and communication across organisations to provide the best possible outcome for the patient.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Paramedics undertake rigorous training over a number of years, which includes emergency delivery of a baby as part of the curriculum.”
Paramedic helped save the life of baby Rory five years ago
Mr Kenny has previously been in The Gazette for helping to save baby Rory Campbell in 2013, and for helping to save a man from the sea off Cocker Square in Blackpool a year earlier.
Rory’s mum Sarah Porter, who went into labour 10 days early and gave birth in the front seat of her dad’s car just 200m from Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said at the time: “It’s all a bit of a blur but I’m so grateful they were there.”
Rory was motionless, not breathing, and had the umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck – but finally took his first breaths and began to cry as he was taken to the maternity unit.
That dramatic rescue, which also involved paramedics Richard Devlin and Kurt Katzmann, came just months after Mr Kenny – alongside resort paramedic Dan Farnworth – was handed the Liverpool Shipwreck Award for saving a man who had a heart attack in the sea.
The pair were flagged down by a crowd as they travelled along the Promenade after a 27-year-old man went into the sea after his dog. Brent said at the time: “The guy was being bashed against the sea wall. It was a very, very rough sea and it was just going dark.
“We know we took a risk going so close to the water, we were soaked through but it was somebody’s life so we had to do it.
“It’s nice to be recognised and when you have incidents where you save someone’s life it’s very, very rewarding.”