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Dad saved son urges others to learn first aid

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Photo of Ruaridh Brown, as his father Alec Brown from Mull, Scotland, who saved his son’s life using infant CPR skills.

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

Alec Brown, 29, put the skills he had learned into action when his eight-month-old son Ruaridh suddenly stopped breathing as he sat in his high chair for lunch at the family’s home on Mull.

Mr Brown thought he had choked and looked to see if he could dislodge anything from his son’s throat but found nothing and saw that Ruaridh was turning blue. Having called an ambulance, he carried out CPR and after a short time Ruaridh was sick and started to cry.

The incident on April 6 came weeks after Mr Brown attended a training session led by St Andrew’s First Aid in Oban in January as part of the charity’s community engagement programme.

He nearly didn’t make it because of the weather and ferry cancellations. Mr Brown said: “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 because I had a young family and living on an island means that emergency medical support can take a bit longer to arrive than on the mainland.

“When Ruaridh stopped breathing, I went into auto- pilot and remembered what I had been taught.

“It felt like half an hour before be 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.”

Ruaridh was airlifted to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow where he spent three days, 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, 3, is urging other people to learn first aid skills. He said: “I can’t recommend strongly enough learning to do even basic first aid.”

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