What every parent needs to know

PUBLISHED: 13:55 25 August 2009 | UPDATED: 00:01 16 June 2010

Hope is fine now.

Hope is fine now.

THE East Devon parents of a toddler who turned blue and stopped breathing after suffering a febrile convulsion are warning others to be aware of the symptoms.

THE East Devon parents of a toddler who turned blue and stopped breathing after suffering a febrile convulsion are warning others to be aware of the symptoms.

Hope, two, was struck down by the seizure on Sunday after her temperature reached 39.56C - it should have been around 36C.

Her parents, Matt and Amy Baker, were taking Hope to hospital when, only a few of minutes into the journey at the Bowd, she had the fit.

Matt, 32, an emergency care assistant, said: "She was stiff as a board, really blue and her eyes were fixed and dilated. She wasn't moving or breathing. It's a parent's worst nightmare-she was dying in front of us as far as we were concerned."

Amy, 25, a manager at Primark, said: "At that point we just didn't know if she was going to start breathing again."

Fortunately, both Matt and Amy are trained in basic life support and the pair sprung into action.

They pulled over, took Hope's clothes off to try and reduce her temperature and Matt gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the boot of their car.

After about four breaths, Hope started breathing and the South West Ambulance rapid response vehicle arrived on the scene, quickly followed by a land and then an air ambulance.

Matt and Amy have praised the staff at the Bowd Inn, who did everything they could to help, the paramedics and two motorcyclists who stopped to assist.

However, they say they were shocked by the amount of people who stopped their cars to have a look.

Matt, who is also a retained fireman, said: "The sad thing was the people who were prepared to step back and watch while I was trying to save my daughter's life. It was disgusting."

Hope was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by Devon Air Ambulance and doctors diagnosed her with a suspected ear infection.

She was released the following day and is recovering well.

Now Matt and Amy want to raise awareness of febrile convulsions, which affects around one in 30 children, usually between the ages of six months and four or five years.

Amy, 25, a manager at Primark, said: "If we had known more about febrile convulsions and how it is brought on, we would have been more prepared. They are quite common, but not many people have heard of them. If it happens, seek medical advice straight away."

Hope's parents have been warned she is likely to suffer another febrile convulsion in the future but, now they are armed with more information, they want other people to know what to do in the first instance.

A fundraising night, organised by Amy, will this year be in aid of Devon Air Ambulance as well as the Special Care Baby Unit in Exeter.

Hope was born eleven weeks premature and spent 19 weeks in the care of the neo-natal unit at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Amy, to thank the nurses, came up with Hope's Variety Night and has raised nearly £1,000 so far for the unit. This year half the proceeds will go to Devon Air Ambulance as a thank you.

Amy said: "They did a fantastic job and they got us there in two minutes flat.


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