Wigan mum helping others to save a baby’s life

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A mum whose baby choked when he was only weeks old is on a mission to get parents and carers in Wigan Borough on a life-saving first aid course.

Francesca Lowe, from Lowton, hit the headlines three years ago when firefighters saved her son’s life after he turned blue in the car. Thomas, now aged three, made a full recovery after the crew gave him first aid to help him breathe again.
After the incident Francesca wanted to help other parents who might find themselves in her scenario so ran a series of Save a Baby’s Life classes.
With the support of Wigan Council, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and the Royal Life Saving Society, the first aid course is now being offered across the whole of Wigan Borough in Start Well centres and Francesca wants to spread the word far and wide to parents that it could save a life.
Francesca, a parent champion from Westleigh Start Well centre, said: “It’s a two-hour workshop which teaches parents, carers and grandparents how to perform CPR and what to do if your baby is choking or drowning.
“Three years ago I was in the car when Thomas turned blue in his car seat. I was outside the fire station in Leigh so they helped him breathe again before giving him to the paramedics.
“After that happened I wanted to learn first aid myself and I realised it could be hard to get on a course and you wouldn’t search for one unless it happened to you.
“The council have helped me set up the sessions with a range of agencies involved including Breastfeeding Together, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and parent champions to teach this first aid.
“We also have a creche on site so you can bring your baby. We just want as many people as possible to come to a course and learn first aid.”
Professor Kate Ardern, director of Public Health at Wigan Council, said: “Francesca has been a fantastic champion for the course and we’re happy to be supporting it in our Start Well centres so other parents and carers feel confident about knowing what to do if they ever encounter a similar situation. It’s been a real partnership effort between Francesca, the council and Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles to deliver this crucial advice.”
Cllr Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “It’s brilliant to see how passionate Francesca is about making a difference to other families after her experience when her son was a baby. I’m delighted we’re supporting parents and wider family members in our Start Well centres to acquire these vital skills which can save young lives.”
To find a Save a Baby’s Life course contact your local Start Well centre or visit www.rlss.org.uk