Yorkshire toddler meets ambulance heroes

Emergency Medical Technician Andy Towers, Paramedic Wendy Durkin, Clinical Supervisor Andrew Hughes, Katy Bavill, Ralph Bavill and Ian Bavill

1:14pm 22nd February 2018

A toddler from Leeds has been reunited with the ambulance crew who saved his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Two-year-old Ralph Bavill choked on a grape and, despite mum Katy’s efforts to dislodge it, he stopped breathing.

Paramedic Wendy Durkin, Emergency Medical Technician Andy Towers and Clinical Supervisor Andrew Hughes rushed to the scene and resuscitated Ralph, before taking him to Leeds General Infirmary. He spent two nights in hospital and has since made a full recovery.

Mum Katy said:

“The ambulance staff saved my son’s life. It’s a simple yet extraordinary fact that has forever changed all of our lives.

“Their skill, speed, professionalism and a genuinely heartfelt want to save his little life meant that we get more precious time with Ralph. I don’t think there will ever be a way to properly express my gratitude to them.”

Katy, Ralph and his dad, Ian, visited Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust Headquarters to personally thank their heroes.

Wendy, Andy and Andrew were thrilled to be reunited with the family and they even gave Ralph a toy ambulance. He also enjoyed looking around a real ambulance and, when it was time to leave, he gave each of the crew a big hug and a ‘high five’.

Clinical Supervisor Andrew Hughes said:

“It was great seeing Ralph again, especially due to such a positive outcome. Whilst attending patients who are choking is not uncommon, to be involved in an active choking and resuscitation with a child is not a regular occurrence.

“I’m really proud of the team for providing excellent care during this distressing incident. With the added fact that Ralph has had such a good recovery and that Ian and Katy are also doing well provides a sense of achievement, especially due to the emotive nature of the job.”

Ian and Katy said that they were previously unaware of the dangers of uncut grapes. Since the incident, they have told as many friends and family as possible to ensure that grapes are always sliced length-ways before being given to children.

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