Nursing student arrives home – and saves life of neighbour’s baby

Rebecca McGhee rushed to give CPR after hearing a high-pitched scream

Rebecca McGhee rushed to give CPR after hearing a high-pitched scream

Nursing student Rebecca McGhee

An off-duty nursing student has spoken of how she sprung into action to save a choking baby.

Third-year nursing student Rebecca McGhee had arrived home after a 10-hour shift at Whiteabbey Hospital in Northern Ireland on 15 November, when she heard cries for help.

Rapid response to sounds of distress

‘The child’s mum came out of her house, shouting: “My baby’s choking.” Then there was this loud, high-pitched scream,’ said Ms McGhee.

‘It’s one of those things you can’t ignore.’

Ms McGee ran out of her house and began CPR on the 14-month-old girl.

‘The baby was blue, limp, there was no life in there,’ she said.

CPR skills were crucial to baby’s survival 

Thankfully, Ms McGhee’s first aid revived the baby.

‘I started to feel her wee tummy moving up and down again, she started breathing,’ she said.

The baby was taken to a local emergency department for assessment.  

Student has emotional response to situation

Ms McGhee said the incident had left her shaken.

‘When I came back to my house and stood in my hallway, I just started crying – it was the shock,’ she said.

Despite the initial fright following the incident, Ms McGhee said the emergency has helped her to stay calm at work and highlighted her skills.

The Ulster University student has called for all parents to be given CPR training.

‘Ability to think and act quickly’

Ulster University’s head of school of nursing Sonja McIlfatrick praised Ms McGhee for her actions.

‘Rebecca demonstrated the ability to think and act quickly, and professionally, to apply a wide set of skills to a life-threatening situation where little other resource was available,’ she said.

‘We are very proud of her.’

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