Hero doctor stepped in to save boy's life

A mum has thanked the off-duty doctor who helped to save her young son's life.

Friday, 22nd September 2017, 4:41 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd September 2017, 4:45 pm
Michelle Balogun and son Stefan, four, with Dr Abdul Ashish

Four-year-old Stefan Balogun swallowed a coin from his dinner money while travelling to only his second day at Green Meadow Independent Primary School in Lowton.

His mum Michelle realised he was struggling to breathe and pulled over her car on Newton Road in Lowton.

Mrs Balogun said: “I jumped out and I opened the door and grabbed him. I was tipping him over and banging his back to get it out.

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“He kept retching and it didn’t come out. I was thinking of first aid and doing the back slaps.”

Passers-by stopped to help, including former serviceman James Green and Dr Abdul Ashish, a consultant respiratory physician for Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Ashish said: “Stefan was in a bit of distress and unable to breathe properly. His eyes were shot red.

“I think it was a very emotionally charged moment because there was a four-year-old child who potentially couldn’t breathe because of a coin.

“Between myself and James, we managed to try some manoeuvres and dislodge the coin and suddenly he started talking a little bit more and when he started vomiting a bit of blood, we knew the coin was dislodged.”

The coin had been knocked into Stefan’s oesophagus and he was able to breathe again.

In the meantime, a police officer directed rush-hour traffic and an ambulance arrived.

Stefan was taken to Warrington Hospital, where he vomited the coin within around 30 minutes of arriving.

Mrs Balogun said: “About 10 minutes later he was asking for sausage and chips!”

Dr Ashish, who is based at Wigan Infirmary but was travelling to a clinic at Leigh Infirmary, spoke to Mrs Balogun that day to check Stefan was okay.

He said: “It was a big relief. It was a small celebration to be honest. It was great to know that the young boy was doing well.”

The youngster was allowed to go home later that day and made a full recovery.

Stefan and his mother visited Dr Ashish at Wigan Infirmary to thank him for his efforts.

Mum-of-three Mrs Balogun said: “I think afterwards, when it hit me, I got upset and for a couple of nights I couldn’t sleep properly because I was thinking about what could have happened and the worse case scenario. I’m so glad everything turned out okay.”

She thanked everyone involved in helping her son.

“I know if these people hadn’t come to help, it could have been much worse,” she said.

It is an experience the family will not forget for a long time - especially as Mrs Balogun has framed the £1 coin to mark her son’s first visit to A&E!