David up for Dad of the Year for saving baby’s life

David Walkden, with wife Lorna,son Dougie and baby Elsa
David Walkden, with wife Lorna,son Dougie and baby Elsa

MUM Lorna Walkden will never forget the moment she found two-day-old baby Elsa turning purple in her crib.

When a slap on the back had no effect, she screamed for husband David, who began chest compressions and then followed a 999 operator’s instructions to give his tiny daughter the kiss of life.

Elsa is now a healthy eight months old and David has been shortlisted as national Dad of the Year in recognition of his actions.

The drama happened last June on Elsa’s first night at home in Bradway.

“I’d filled up a bowl ready to wash her but when I went back into the bedroom she was turning blue,” says Lorna.

“I knew she was choking, so I started slapping her. I screamed for David and he came running upstairs… Elsa was just limp and I was petrified.”

While David tried chest compressions, Lorna rang for an ambulance. Then she relayed instructions to her husband as the operator told them what to do.

“David was scared of hurting her but the guy told us to put her on the floor and do the compressions, then to put his mouth over her nose and mouth to give her air.

“On his fourth attempt at mouth-to-mouth, Elsa started to cry. It was the best sound in the world!”

The paramedic arrived and cleared the baby’s nose and mouth of fluid and she was taken to hospital for a check-up.

That resulted in drama of a different kind: “We got a speeding ticket on the way and then a parking ticket at the Children’s Hospital!” recalls Lorna. Both were later waived by the city council.

Elsa has been perfectly healthy ever since but Lorna cannot forget that awful night – and how David was the one who saved their daughter’s life.

“I nominated him for the Dad of the Year award because he was just fantastic. I was screaming and crying but he managed to stay calm and do what was necessary. I’m really proud of him.”

The awards are organised by website Made For Mums. David is one of three dads shortlisted for honours and the final outcome will be determined by public vote.

Meanwhile, both he and Lorna are planning to sign up for a first aid course so they know what to do next time there’s an emergency.

To support David’s nomination, log on to www.madeformums.com/competitions/big-thank-you-awards-2012/711.html. The closing date is April 11.