A MOTHER whose baby son stopped breathing a year ago today (Monday, December 24) has spent the last 12 months fundraising for the hospital unit that cared for him after a family friend saved his life.
Noah Dreaves was born five weeks early on December 1 last year, and on Christmas Eve, mum Charlotte, 25, from Barton near Richmond, North Yorkshire, said he had been suffering from a cough and cold.
“The doctor advised me to fill the room with as many pans of boiling water as I could to try to ease his chest with the moist air.
“He had not been feeding and we were starting to really worry about him.
“All of a sudden he looked really lifeless and limp – I started to panic but knew my mum and her friend were in the pub nearby so I ran there.”
Sue Lawson, a friend of Mrs Dreaves’ mother, is a first aider and rushed back to Noah before giving him the kiss of life.
Mrs Dreaves said: “My husband, Richard, and I had been shown basic lifesaving by the hospital because he was so little, and he was trying but Noah wasn’t responding.
“Sue was on the phone to the ambulance service taking advice while giving him chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth - and finally he came back to life.”
But at Darlington Memorial Hospital paediatric unit Noah stopped breathing again.
Mrs Dreaves said: “It was like watching an episode of Casualty – but it was my baby and it was heart-breaking.
“There were lots of doctors shouting at each other and trying to find out what was happening to him – he had 15 separate episodes where he stopped breathing.”
Noah was transferred to Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) because he had bronchiolitis and milk was going into his lungs when he fed.
Mrs Dreaves said: “Last year wasn’t Christmas, and it was a struggle to pay for all the trips to hospital because Richard was injured and couldn’t work.”
Noah spent three weeks in the unit, but was eventually allowed home.
This year he is healthy and happy, and can enjoy a family Christmas with his parents and big brother Lucas.
Mrs Dreaves and Mrs Lawson have been fundraising for the hospital PICU ever since and so far have raised more than £1,000.
Mrs Dreaves said: “We are holding a Dutch auction – where people throw pound coins into a hat for a limited time period, and the last thrower wins the prize – on Saturday, January 12 at 8pm in the Half Moon Inn, Barton.”