A ‘TERRIFIED’ mum has told how she saved her three-month-old daughter’s life after she suddenly stopped breathing.

Emily Lamburn-Atkins from Arncott, near Bicester, was woken up by her husband, Chris, at around 5am after he discovered their baby girl Penny had gone into respiratory arrest.

Penny had been crying that morning – Sunday, August 4 – so her dad took her downstairs to prepare some milk to feed her, but she suddenly went quiet.

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The 31-year-old noticed she had stopped breathing and checked her airways to see if they were blocked, but they weren’t and Penny was completely unresponsive.

The Oxford Times:

Mrs Atkins, who was asleep at the time, said: “Chris ran upstairs to me with her and he quickly woke me up, shouting ‘help, help, do something, help’.

“He quickly passed her over to me and I checked to see if she was breathing – which she wasn’t – then I started shouting at her to see if she would respond, but again got no response from her.”

The 25-year-old, who is a locum practice nurse at St George’s Barrack’s in Bicester and the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, then started giving Penny mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while her husband called the ambulance.

She said: “While I was giving her mouth-to-mouth her lips were blue. I was getting nothing back from her at all.”

Eventually, after around three minutes, Penny began to come around, but she was still struggling to breathe and so Mrs Atkins continued the resuscitation until her daughter cried.

Mrs Atkins, who also has a two-year-old daughter called Pippa, said: “I was so relieved but also had anxiety that it would happen again. It was a massive rush of adrenaline.

"I think because I’m a nurse it’s been engrained in me to learn life support. It was always in the back of my head.

The Oxford Times:

“I was able to take over completely, but my husband on the other hand hasn’t been trained and didn’t know what to do – he was hysterical.”

The couple said it took the ambulance 14 minutes to arrive after Mr Atkins called at 5.13am.

If Mrs Atkins did not know what to do, her daughter may not have been saved in time.

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She said: “If mouth-to-mouth is not done in the first minutes the likelihood of survival is minimal. If I hadn’t done it, Penny wouldn’t be here.

“That’s not a bash at the ambulance service – the NHS is very short-staffed people use the service for the wrong reasons. It was also probably called at a peak time.”

The mother-of-two said the police arrived as well as the ambulance as all services are called out when there is a potential cardiac arrest.

The Oxford Times:

Penny was taken straight to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford on blue lights before being admitted for ten days in the high dependency unit where she was constantly monitored and observed.

Doctors still do not know why Penny stopped breathing but she returned home to her family on Tuesday.

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Mrs Atkins is now sharing her traumatic experience with others and is urging parents to learn basic life support skills so that they are prepared for incidents like hers.

She said: "People should look into courses – they’re not expensive and just one hour of training could save a baby’s life. You really couldn't place value on it.

"It can happen to anyone and unfortunately it happened to me."