Ruaridh Brown: Father saves baby son’s life with CPR

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Alec Brown

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The Browns live in Tobermory on Mull

A father who saved his baby son’s life using recently-acquired CPR skills is urging others to learn first aid.

Alec Brown, 29, took part in a first aid training session in January.

Weeks later he put his skills into action when his eight-month-old son Ruaridh stopped breathing at the family home on the Hebridean island of Mull.

As Ruraidh turned blue, Mr Brown called an ambulance and carried out CPR. After a short time the baby was sick and started to cry.

Ruraidh is thought to have become ill because of a viral infection.

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Family Handout

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Ruaridh Brown suddenly stopped breathing at the family’s home

Mr Brown, a member of Tobermory RNLI’s lifeboat crew, said: “We’re just an ordinary family, living an ordinary life. You hear about these types of stories in the news but you never expect it to happen to you.

“I wanted to attend the first aid training session because I had a young family and because living on an island means that emergency medical support can take a bit longer to arrive than on the mainland. I am so glad that I did.

“When Ruaridh stopped breathing, I went into autopilot and remembered what I had been taught. I checked if he was choking and then checked his airway before beginning CPR. It felt like half an hour before he started breathing again but I suspect it was only a minute.

“I’m just so glad I made the effort to go to the demonstration.

“The ambulance arrived after 20 minutes but had I not known what to do, the ending could have been very different.”

‘Life and death’

After the incident Ruaridh was airlifted from Mull, off the west coast of Scotland, to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. He spent three days there, with doctors concluding the episode may have been caused by a viral infection.

Mr Brown, who lives in Tobermory with wife Kayleigh, 26, Ruaridh and Callum, three, is urging other people to learn first aid skills.

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Alec Brown

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Mr Brown is urging other parents to learn first aid

He said: “I can’t recommend strongly enough that people take the time to learn how to do even basic first aid. Many of the sessions are free and it could literally be the difference between life and death.

“We’re doing OK. It has definitely shaken us but we’re just so happy to still have Ruaridh with us and he’s doing well.”

Mr Brown is supporting St Andrew’s First Aid, which ran the course he attended in Oban as part of its community engagement programme.

The charity is launching its Scottish First Aid Awards, which showcase the achievements of people who have helped save a life.

In a post of Facebook, Tobermory RNLI said: “We are so proud of our volunteer crew member Alec and even more pleased that Ruaridh has made a full recovery and looking forward to seeing him at the Station barbecue next month.”