A West Mercia Police officer who resuscitated a five-week-old baby after his heart had stopped has been recognised with a national award.
PC Mark Bates performed CPR, chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive the baby, who was in cardiac arrest.
The baby was taken to Telford Hospital and then Birmingham Children’s Hospital where, tragically, he died eight days later.
Mark, who has received an honour from the Royal Humane Society for his actions, said the fact he could give the baby and his family a few more days together was the main award for him.
“I am proud to be put forward and to have received this award,” he said.
“It was really sad circumstances but I’m glad we were able to give the family that little bit of extra time together – that was the main award for me.
“They were able to spend New Year with him, get him christened, take hand prints and foot prints and to spend some time together as a family.
“It gave the family time to create those memories, so while it was a tragic ending there was that positive.”
The incident happened at around 5am on 29 December last year. Mark received a call from the ambulance service that a five-week-old child was in cardiac arrest.
Mark and his colleague, who were minutes away, attended to find the lifeless baby lying on the floor and his first aid and CPR training kicked in.
“CPR is something you never want to have to use but with a baby, particularly so,” he said.
“It was a moment where I had to trust in the training and do what I could. You go into the instinct of what have I been taught? What do I know? What can I do to help this baby?”
He performed CPR and chest compressions with his fingers until the ambulance service arrived.
“We actually managed to get a pulse back and revive the child,” he said. “When the ambulance service got there I passed over to them and their sophisticated equipment and everything.”
Mark described it as “the saddest job he’s dealt with” in his almost five years in service.
“You don’t do this job for awards and commendations, you do it to help people and I hope that was one of the incidents where people felt like the police helped them,” he said.