Mum saved baby’s life

Ashley Witson (right) of Willows Close, Columbia, Washington, with her daughter Ella Mae who's life she saved when she stopped breathing. The pair are pictured with Ashley's sister and the baby's godmother Melissa Wilson.
Ashley Witson (right) of Willows Close, Columbia, Washington, with her daughter Ella Mae who's life she saved when she stopped breathing. The pair are pictured with Ashley's sister and the baby's godmother Melissa Wilson.
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A QUICK-THINKING mum saved her baby’s life after the newborn stopped breathing in her arms.

Ashley Witson, 17, acted quickly when she realised Ella Mae Irving had no pulse.

Days after being in intensive care with whooping cough, the seven-week-old began coughing so hard that she began to change colour.

But instead of panicking, 17-year-old Ashley calmly started to perform mouth to mouth on her daughter.

After five attempts, Ella’s chest finally started to move again and the colour began to return to her ashen face.

Ashley, who lives with her partner Josh Irving and their daughter in Willows Close, Washington, said it was the most scared she has ever been.

However, she remembered just in time what the nurses at the RVI in Newcastle had shown her to do in case of emergency, and carried on while a tearful Josh, 21, phoned for an ambulance.

The part-time college student said: “She was coughing so hard and then she just turned grey and her chest stopped moving.

“I was really scared, but I suppose survival instinct just kicked in and I did what I had to, to save her.”

Ella is now back home, but doctors say it could be months before the coughing clears up.

Ashley said: “I am really worried now all the time in case it happens again.”

The drama began for Ella’s family when the tot developed a cough at about four-weeks-old.

Ashley, a former Oxclose school pupil, said initially staff at the walk-in centre thought Ella had a viral infection.

But on February 8, when her condition deteriorated, her mum took her to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The youngster was kept in overnight and discharged, but two days later Ashley took her back to the hospital and was given a course of antibiotics.

However, by February 13 the tot was so ill she was not feeding and was turning blue, so Ashley returned to the hospital where staff referred Ella to the RVI, where she spent three days in intensive care and four days on the ward before being allowed home.

It was just days after that the youngster stopped breathing and was resuscitated by her mum.

Ashley now wants to warn other parents how potentially life-threatening whooping cough can be and not to ignore any coughs and colds.

She said: “I hadn’t even heard of whooping cough, but it can be fatal.

“Staff at the RVI said if she hadn’t been admitted to intensive care when she was, we could have lost her because there was so much fluid on her lungs.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho