Quick-thinking mum saved her baby’s life

Alex with her young son, Joel, whose life she saved
Alex with her young son, Joel, whose life she saved

A Wigan mum is urging all parents to learn first aid skills after she saved the life of her baby son.


Alex McHugh, 34, from Highfield, received a prestigious St John Ambulance Hero Parent of the Year at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes awards in London after judges heard of her quick-thinking action.

Alex saved her seven-week-old son Joel’s life after he stopped breathing when the family were getting into the car after the school run.

She performed Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) until the ambulance arrived, saving his life, but only knew how to do this because just a day before, Alex had seen the St John Ambulance Nursery Rhymes Inc video which teaches CPR for babies.

The terrifying incident came after Joel was antenatally diagnosed with Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation (CCAM) a foetal lung lesion which required surgery while Alex was still pregnant with Joel, and a high risk surgery at three days old to remove most of his left lung.

Alex was among 10 other winners celebrated at the ceremony in London.

Alex said: ‘It’s amazing to receive this award, I’m thrilled. People really need to learn first aid and the work that St John Ambulance does is fabulous.

Without the video they made, Joel wouldn’t be here. I can’t thank St John Ambulance enough.”

Alex was handed her award by TV presenter Zoe Hardman, who said: “Alex is absolutely inspirational – she is how we should all be, in terms of having first aid knowledge and knowing how to use it. She’s my hero.

“First aid is something everyone should be doing and I wish I’d done it as a teenager. For me it’s the most important thing; I tell every single person I come across to learn first aid.”

The annual Everyday Heroes Awards, supported by Laerdal, celebrated the nation’s life savers, honouring community heroes, organisations and members of the public who have used first aid to help others.

To learn first aid visit www.sja.org.uk to find out more.