Parents’ thanks for Wigan nurse who saved son’s life

Mason Shield, six, centre, with dad Sam, mum Cheryl, sister Amelia, eight, and brother Jack, three
Mason Shield, six, centre, with dad Sam, mum Cheryl, sister Amelia, eight, and brother Jack, three

A Wigan family has thanked a quick-thinking nurse who saved their young son’s life after he became extremely unwell at a GP surgery.

Six-year-old Mason Shield deteriorated shockingly quickly after he was taken to Ashton Medical Centre for an emergency appointment.

Trudi Lowe

Trudi Lowe

Fortunately SSP Health advanced nurse practitioner Trudi Lowe leaped into action and worked on Mason until an ambulance arrived to take him to Wigan Infirmary.

Mason had only started feeling ill with wheezing breaths and sickness the evening before the dramatic scenes in the surgery so his parents Sam and Cheryl Shield were stunned to be told that had Trudi not intervened so decisively the youngster could have died.

The grateful family, of Bolton Road in Ashton, headed to the surgery to thank Trudi with flowers and have now spoken about the nightmare ordeal.

Cheryl, 28, said: “He was lying on the seats in the waiting room at the GP and as soon as they called him he went completely downhill.

“His breathing got worse and he was sick. Trudi scooped him up, put him on the bed, listened to his chest and said they were going to have to call an ambulance.

“She gave him oxygen and an inhaler.

“She was just brilliant and so caring. The way she was hugging Mason you would think he was her little boy. She kept reassuring everyone. It was only after Mason was in the ambulance that they said he was in a very bad way.

“It was the worst day of my life. I still have bad dreams about it and my dad’s not sleeping either.

“He was there and saw how bad he was. It was awful, heartbreaking.”

Dad Sam, 28, said: “It was just a shock how fast he deteriorated.

“When we went to the surgery with the flowers Trudi tried to say it was just her job but we told her she had saved our son’s life and we had to say thank you.”

Mason spent four nights on the Rainbow Ward at Wigan Infirmary before being discharged.

He has made an excellent recovery and is now once again attending St Wilfrid’s Primary School in Ashton.

His departure from hospital was delayed as his oxygen levels kept falling at night.

He had been given a nebulizer containing a steroid solution to open his airways when he got to Wigan Infirmary.

However, this is not currently available at GP surgeries and Sam and Cheryl are now campaigning to make sure all doctors have the equipment to hand.

Cheryl said: “The doctors didn’t have what they needed to save Mason. If the ambulance hadn’t turned up he would probably have died, they wouldn’t have been able to do anything.

“I’m definitely going to fight for it, doctors’ surgeries should have nebulizers, even if it’s just for children.”

The exact cause of Mason’s sudden health deterioration is still unclear but it is thought he had a viral illness which triggered a severe asthma attack, and he has now been given an inhaler to use.

Sam also had a message for parents in the wake of the ordeal which began with a seemingly-innocuous childhood illness.

He said: “I would just advise them that if they have any doubt that there is something wrong then they should take their child to the doctor.”

Trudi spoke about the moments Mason was in the GP surgery and the response of Mason’s parents, while her bosses at SSP Health were also full of praise for her prompt actions.

Trudi said: “When Mason came in to see me along with his family, it immediately became clear that he was having trouble breathing and was very unwell.

“I could see that Mason required urgent medical help and while waiting for the ambulance there was a further deterioration in his condition which meant me giving him more treatment and support.

“It was an extremely worrying time for the family and our staff at Ashton Medical Centre were wonderful in calming and reassuring them.

“We are all so relieved that Mason is now well. We don’t expect thanks for what we do but to receive such a lovely bouquet of flowers from Mason’s mum and dad touched me and all my colleagues.

“At SSP Health we have a policy of giving same-day appointments to all children and this incident shows that is the right thing to do.”

SSP Health director and GP Dr Shikha Pitalia said: “We are so happy that Mason has made a full recovery from this ordeal and so grateful his family have shown their appreciation for Trudi in this way.

“Trudi is a wonderful clinician and through her excellent training and clarity of thought she was able to deal with a potentially life-threatening situation in a highly professional manner.”