THE quick response of two gardai helped save the life of a newborn baby who turned blue due to breathing difficulties.
Garda Paul Baynham (24) and Garda Niamh Kennelly (28), who are both attached to Mayorstone Garda Station in Limerick, responded to an emergency call of a baby having turned blue in the back of its parents' car.
The 17-day-old infant was being brought to University Hospital, Limerick (UHL), at the time after he became unwell at his home in Ennis.
Gda Baynham and Gda Kennelly met the parents near the Portdrine exit on the N18 before bringing the baby to hospital.
"The child was in the back of the car and was restrained in the car seat. When I went to the car, I could see the parents were hysterical," said Gda Baynham, who is a qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
"The child's head was kind of slouched down, so I took the car seat out of their car and brought it over into the back of the patrol car. Niamh was speaking with the mother," he added. Gda Baynham then placed the child on his lap to open his airway as they drove to UHL.
"Once I had the seat in our car, I took the baby out and laid him out on my lap. As soon as he was laid out on the lap, it was as if his airway opened and the colour did come back.
"He started crying and he became responsive in the back of the patrol car," he explained.
However, the infant turned blue again as the patrol car emerged from the Limerick tunnel – at which time a rescue team was alerted at UHL.
On arrival at the hospital, the baby was handed over to doctors by the two gardai.
The child was subsequently admitted to UHL and is said to be doing well.
Supt Dan Keane of Henry Street garda station has praised the actions of Gda Baynham and Gda Kennelly, saying he had "no doubt their quick response helped save the baby's life".
However, both Gda Baynham and Gda Kennelly, who have both been stationed at Mayorstone since joining the force, said anyone in their position would have done exactly the same.