Sunday 25 February 2024
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Family surprise NUH staff member after saving a toddler’s life whilst on holiday

The family of a three-year-old toddler who choked on his food whilst in a restaurant have thanked Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust staff member, Carrie Maxfield, who saved him, with a special certificate and video.

Carrie is a Service Manager in Ophthalmology at Queens Medical Centre and was out for a meal in Skegness in August. On the table opposite, three-year- old Harrison Ruddell started to choke on a piece of sausage which had got stuck in his throat.

Mum, Rebecca Ruddell said: “Harrison was turning blue and dying in front of our eyes. I started first aid with back slaps without any success. That’s when Carrie stepped in.”

Carrie got on her knees and applied the Heimlich manoeuvre. When this did not work, Carrie placed Harrison over her knee and applied several forceful slaps to his back. The sausage became dislodged and Harrison started to breathe again.

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Carrie said: “It didn’t really sink in what had happened, I think it only did when I went home and told friends and family what I’d done. One of my best friends said ‘you’ve just earnt a place in heaven’.

Carrie was presented with a certificate of recognition and shown the video which Rebecca and Harrison made for her.

In the video, Rebecca said: “You saved a little boy’s life and we will be forever grateful. It makes me want to tear up just thinking about it. But without you, I might not have had my little boy, so thank you so much. It is massively appreciated.”

When asked about receiving the award and surprise, Carrie said: “I was in shock. I didn’t have a clue what we were meeting about and when I found out it was just so emotional. It is so lovely for them to reach out and find me at work. I’ve had training for this since joining the NHS 24 years ago and, thankfully, I’ve never had to use it before. I’m so glad I had the training or I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did.”

Harrison’s Grandad, Stephen, said: “Carrie literally saved Harrison’s life. She is a heroine and we are all so grateful for her life-saving actions. You, the NHS, has also played its part in training your staff. Thank you.”

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