NHS70: Stevenage mum praises paramedics for saving toddler’s life
PUBLISHED: 08:28 11 July 2018
As the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary, the mother of a toddler whose heart stopped beating after he fell into a pond has praised the paramedics and hospital staff who saved his life 25 years ago.
James Usher was found by his eldest sister face down in a pond at his home in Stevenage’s Scarborough Avenue in 1993.
His skin and lips were blue and his terrfied mum, Sue, thought he was dead. After a distraught 999 call, paramedics Jim Bradley and Kevin Rayner-Brown arrived and began trying to ressucitate 16-month-old James.
Sue said: “He had navy blue lips and no heartbeat. They said his airways were blocked.
“He was taken to Lister and had no heartbeat for an hour and 10 minutes. He had blue skin and dark blue lips but they said they wouldn’t give up because he was young and healthy.”
Miraculously, James was revived and, 25 years on, the only lasting effect from the incident is short-term memory loss.
Sue said: “We were told he would be lucky to survive the night when it happened. Without the paramedics and staff at Lister, James wouldn’t be here today.”
The family had been in the middle of creating a new pond and had been planning to build a wall and put safety netting over the pond the day after the incident.
“We reckon James’ dummy fell in the pond and he went in after it,” Sue said. “They think he had been in the water for more than 10 minutes.
“I can’t thank Jim and Kevin enough for saving James. I think they do such a fantastic job and we couldn’t have asked for two better guys. The staff at Lister also worked so hard to save James and I will be forever grateful.”
The Usher family are still in touch with Kevin and Jim, who were invited to James’ wedding when he got married last year.
The two paramedics, along with the lady who handled the 999 call, bought James a decanter and a set of glasses as a wedding gift. Each glass is engraved with a significant time relating to the life-saving incident 25 years ago, including the time the emergency call was made.
James now has a son, Freddie, and Kevin attended the christening. They are planning to get together as a group on August 3.
Sue said: “We have made friends for life. They are lovely guys and I can’t thank them enough. They did such a good job and we have nothing but praise for the NHS.”