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'Hero' firefighter saved baby's life

Mother praises firefighter after he performed CPR on her baby, who had been born 16 weeks early

Firefighter Steve Fox with Lauren Chapman, baby Sadie and older sister Isla

An heroic firefighter has been thanked for saving the life of a newborn baby girl in Aldershot.

Steve Fox came to the aid of Vixen Drive neighbour Lauren Chapman when she went into labour 16 weeks early in the bathroom at her home, at around 9am on September 13.

The quick-thinking 39-year-old performed CPR on the tiny baby, Sadie, who has now recovered and was finally sent home to her family on Friday.

Mrs Chapman, 32, this week described Mr Fox’s intervention as heroic and spoke of her relief at welcoming her baby home after five months of hospital treatment.

With Sadie weighing only 500g, and less than 20cm in size, performing CPR was a difficult task, but Mr Fox carried out mouth to mouth and gave her chest compressions using his index finger to keep up her circulation while they waited for the paramedics to arrive.

Recalling his actions, Mr Fox, who is married with two children and was celebrating his wedding anniversary that day, said he had only done what he was ‘trained and expected to do’.

“You almost switch off and naturally do it,” he said. “You fall into that role.

“The baby was almost still a foetus and was deceased when I arrived.

“Even the doctors said they had to rip up the medical book.

“They thought she might be deaf but she’s not. The fact she has survived is absolutely amazing.”

Mrs Chapman was at home with husband David and their 15-month-old daughter Isla when she went into labour. She praised Mr Fox for keeping them calm.

“I was six months pregnant to the day and started going into labour unexpectedly,” she said. “My partner ran outside to get help and luckily found Steve. As soon as he came in he just took control, and thank God he did. It was so scary.”

Sadie was taken by ambulance to Frimley Park Hospital, before being transferred to St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey and then St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London.

Doctors told Mr and Mrs Chapman their daughter had less than a 20% chance of surviving however, after five operations and several blood transfusions, she defied the odds and an emotional reunion with Mr Fox took place last week.

Mrs Chapman said: “I owe him my daughter’s life. He has given me my world.

“He is an all-round decent guy who also volunteered in the Philippines. There should be more people like him.”

She added, she hoped her ‘miracle’ would bring hope to other parents whose babies have been born prematurely.

 
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