Wednesday 19 September 2018

Mum thanks hero who revived her seven-week-old son after he turned blue in his car seat

Tarik with his wife Ciara and two sons and Asumpta with son Hugh
Tarik with his wife Ciara and two sons and Asumpta with son Hugh

A mother has recalled the terrifying moment her seven-week-old baby was brought back to life after he stopped breathing in his car seat.

Asumpta Sweeney believes her son Hugh would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the heroic interventions of Tariq Rejeb.

The hero is now a finalist in the Everyday Hero category of the People of the Year, organised by the Rehab Group and broadcast live on RTÉ One on March 3rd.

In March 2017, Assumpta was driving her daughter to montessori when she heard a strange cry from her seven-week-old baby Hugh. She stopped her car at the side of Crumlin Road, Dublin, and to her horror realised he wasn’t breathing.

“My partner Jason took our baby from the car seat, his face was blue, wasn’t breathing and was totally lifeless,” Asumpta told the Today with Sean O’Rourke show.

“Jason was calling the ambulance so I took Hugh into my arms. I shouted for help, I started shouting ‘my baby’. I saw a man across the road and he just came straight over and took Hugh from me. He crouched down, had him in his lap and starting breathing into Hugh’s mouth and doing chest compressions.

“Hugh was lifeless and it seemed to take a while. I saw the colour return to my son and he began to cry."

Tarik was running late for college when he spotted the panicked mother and made the split decision to perform CPR.

When the ambulance arrived at the scene they rushed baby Hugh to Crumlin Children’s Hospital where he was placed on life support for four days. He spent three weeks in hospital.

Although Tarik called to the hospital to see how baby Hugh was recovering, it wasn’t until three weeks later that he realised the infant had survived.

Tarik, who completed a refresher course in first aid a week before the incident, says the trauma has stuck with him.

He added: “I gave him his first breath and nothing happened, but on the second I could see his eyes moving. After a while the ambulance came and he looked ok. Assumpta was crying but I just kept saying that he was ok. He was very small, his whole body fitted in my hands.  I feel connected to Hugh. That picture is always in my mind.”

Tarik is now in the running to scoop the Everyday Hero award at the People of Year Awards. Now in its 43 year, the awards recognise people who have done extraordinary things. Organised by the Rehab Group, it will broadcasted live on RTÉ One at 9.50pm and presented by Gráinne Seoige and Aidan Power.

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