Mark Cummins, 37, from Alton Hamps., said two-year-old Shannon collapsed at the playground -when he called 999, an operator coached him on how to do perform chest compressions with rescue breaths
A father is urging other parents to learn CPR after his toddler stopped breathing.
Mark Cummins, 37, from Alton Hamps., has praised a “brilliant” emergency phone line operator who helped save his two-year-old’s life by guiding him through CPR.
He now encourages all parents to learn first aid because it could be “the difference between life or death.”
Mark said his daughter Shannon collapsed on Saturday morning after her immune system had become weaker by Covid-19 lockdowns.
He said: “I thought she was playing so I walked over to her and I looked into her eyes and there was nothing there, nobody was home.
“I realized that she wasn’t breathing and she was blue.”
Mark, who had never learned CPR, called 999 and an operator coached him on how to do chest compressions with rescue breaths.
The dad-of-four said: “I was in such a panic and nothing was going into my brain.
“But eventually he calmed me down and said ‘look, this is what you need to do’.”
Shannon started breathing again, but she remained unconscious until an ambulance crew arrived.
Paramedics rushed her to Basingstoke Hospital, where she was still recovering yesterday
Mark says he immediately signed up for a free council-run first aid course and encouraged others to do the same.
He said: “If you can take five or six hours out of your time, you can save a child’s life or someone else’s life.
“I think every parent should learn some form of CPR.
“I didn’t know anything about it and I had to learn yesterday over the phone.
“If I already knew that information, I could have kick-started (CPR) before I’d even picked up the phone.”
He says that the minute he spent finding his mobile and dialing 999 could have been “the difference between life or death.”
Mark has also asked South Central Ambulance Service to pass on his thanks to the operator.
He said: “I don’t think the people on the end of the phones are praised enough.”
Shannon is with her mother in the hospital where she is undergoing tests.
The dad said: “They think that because she was born just before lockdown, she’s had no physical contact with anybody, so she’s got a really poor immune system.”
Blood tests revealed she had two viruses “that should never have brought her down”, Mark said.
During the pandemic, Shannon’s only contact was with her dad, who was at home on furlough from his job as a stock replenisher at Sainsbury’s, and his wife Emma, 32, who was on maternity leave.
The parents will have to shield her from even a “little tickly cough or cold” for fear that any infection will trigger more convulsions, he said.