West Lothian dad Aidan Martin 'forever grateful' to hero health worker who saved his son's life after he choked on food

A father-of-three has said he will be forever grateful to a hero health worker who saved his baby son’s life after a day at the park turned into every parent’s worst nightmare.

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Aidan Martin has described the terrifying moment his six-month-old son Leon turned blue and fell unconscious after he choked on a piece of food. The baby was with his mum Samantha, 29, his gran, his sister Katie, five, and her friend at Polkemmet Park near Whitburn on Saturday when he started having difficulty breathing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Samantha took him out of his pram to try and help him but she understandably started panicking. My mum just screamed for help and that’s when a woman, who was just footsteps away, came running,” said Aidan, from Polbeth, West Lothian.

Aidan Martin and his son Leon

The stranger, who wants to remain anonymous, works as a health visitor and so had training in how to deal with the situation.

“The fact that we had someone so nearby who had the skill set to help and wasn’t emotionally attached was like fate, I don’t really know how else to describe it,” said Aidan, who is also dad to nine-year-old Quinn.

By this stage, Leon had become unconscious and was blue and floppy so the health worker set about doing ‘back-blows’ - sharp blows with your hand on the baby’s back.

And while the woman worked on his son, Aidan, who had stayed at home, received the type of phone call that he had always dreaded.

“My mum told me what was happening and I just fell to my knees and started praying to God,” said the 36-year-old.

“I was in so much shock that I started putting on my shoes, forgetting that Samantha had the car and that I was at least 25 minutes away. There was literally nothing I could do but listen to what was happening. I thought I was listening to my baby son dying.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But instead, he felt a rush of relief when he heard his youngest son’s cries - a sign that the object which had been blocking his airways had been dislodged.

An ambulance, which had been called during the commotion, arrived shortly after and described the woman’s response as “textbook”. And a precautionary trip to St John’s Hospital revealed that Leon was absolutely fine and that the incident had caused no short or long-term damage.

“Leon is just back to his normal, smiley and happy self. It’s us adults who are traumatised by what happened,” said Aidan, adding that he and Samantha had now come to terms with how different the outcome could have been should their son’s “guardian angel” not have been there.

“The ambulance crew said that she had done their job for them. Everything they would have done, she had already done.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We will be grateful for the rest of our lives. She doesn’t want to be named and to be seen as gloating for doing her job but to us, she has saved our son’s life and saved us a world of pain.”

Aidan and Samantha are now determined to spread the word of their traumatic experience and encourage everyone to educate themselves on baby first aid.

“I’ll be on a campaign now to raise awareness,” said Aidan. “I feel really determined to spread the word of what happened and prevent anyone else from feeling like we have the past few days.”