Waking up to find your baby has stopped breathing is every mother’s worst nightmare. But luckily when Jo Paine’s baby Harrison didn’t wake for his feed, it was heroic PC Steve Norton who responded to her emergency 999 callout.
When PC Norton arrived at the scene, he instinctively scooped the baby up in his arms and sprinted to the nearby St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
“Jo just handed him to me and said ‘I don’t know what else to do’. I grabbed him and ran,” PC Norton said on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “I will never forget the moment Jo handed Harrison to me; I looked down at his face and it dawned on me that this could have easily been my baby who was a toddler at the time.
“I knew that every second was crucial to for this tiny baby who was not breathing properly. Jo was the one to initiate CPR and I have no doubt that her actions allowed me the time to get him to hospital.”
Jo revealed how traumatic the experience had been when she found her baby lying lifeless. “My world crashed before my eyes. Harrison hadn’t woken up for his feed, his skin had turned grey and his eyes were still. I immediately lay him on my bed and starting chest compressions and rescue breathing into his mouth and nose, just as I had been taught at hospital days before Harrison and I had been discharged.
“He responded and made a noise before he started to shallow breathe. Then PC Steve Norton arrived at my door and I immediately handed Harrison over to him. I did this with complete trust and confidence. At that moment in time, I believed that he would do all he could to help my baby.”
PC Norton admitted on TV that he struggled a bit with the running. “Sprinting with a fragile baby in heavy body armour was exhausting and stressful, but the moment I handed him to the medical professionals in the resuscitation room, I knew that I did absolutely everything I could for Harrison and Jo.”
Thankfully Harrison went on to make a full recovery. “There’s no words that can describe my gratitude for what he did,” Jo added. “And I would say to new mums, take a CPR course, it really is worth it.”