Amanda Carmody, Michael Couglin and baby Holly | Picture: John Kelly / Clare Champion
A CLARE couple have praised a County Limerick garda who helped save the life of their baby, who had turned blue.
Garda Ken Butler, son of Mary and Martin Butler, who is originally from Murroe but stationed in Ennis, is also a Red Cross volunteer.
Two weeks ago Amanda Carmody and Michael Couglin were out for a walk with their nine-day-old baby Holly.
They ran to the garda station after their baby stopped breathing and turned blue.
They described the efforts of the gardaí on duty that day as “fantastic” and spoke highly of efforts made by Garda Ken Butler, who kept them calm while administering assistance to their then nine-day-old baby.
“Garda Ken Butler took Holly from me. At this stage, I was holding her face down, patting her back, trying to free her airways. He was fantastic, he was so calm. He talked us through everything he was going to do, and that he was going to do the baby Heimlich or back slaps.
“He had Holly and he was hitting her on the back and then he had a little oxygen tube and he was holding it in front of her face. He told us what he was hoping for was to hear her cry and that a noisy baby was a happy baby. He did another pattern of back slaps and, at that point, Holly started to cry. The whole thing took about 20 minutes from the time we arrived in the buggy. He was very reassuring and everyone was great,” Amanda told the Clare Champion. Recent graduate, Garda Patrick McCormack assisted his Limerick colleague.
Garda Butler said he was in the office when Garda McCormack’s sergeant, Mark, who knew his qualifications, got him and told him that a baby had presented to the public office and was choking.
“I went over and Michael and Amanda were at the public counter with Holly. She was breathing but she was coughing and spluttering and having difficulties. I took Holly and I had to do a few back blows to help clear the airways and she came back a better colour and had better breathing, so there was a bit of manual clearance of the area and then I gave her a bit of oxygen and monitored her,” said Garda Butler.
The parents are “eternally grateful” to Gardai McCormack and Butler.
Holly was taken to hospital and made a full recovery.