South Yorkshire lifesaver David is Dad of the Year

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

WHEN he found his daughter Elsa blue and not breathing in her cot just the day after coming home from hospital, David Walkden’s response was quick and calm.

Guided by emergency services over the phone, he gave Elsa mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until she began to cry.

His actions saved the life of his daughter – and have now earned him the title of Dad of the Year after being nominated secretly by his wife, Lorna.

Readers of Practical Parenting & Pregnancy magazine voted him the winner and he received his prize in a ceremony in London last Thursday.

The 37-year-old sales and marketing manager, of Longford Drive, Bradway, said: “I always try my best as a dad but I didn’t necessarily think I’d be a stand-out contender so I was very pleased.

“My family and friends have been very supportive and all feel that I deserve it and it’s recognition for what happened. Whilst I have been voted dad of the year, it’s about a partnership and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support of my wife.”

Elsa, now a bouncing 11-month-old, stopped breathing because she had fluid on her lungs that newborns normally expel after birth.

Lorna, aged 33, was amazed by her husband’s calmness.

However, she did not tell David of the nomination until he was through to the final three entries, despite saying it was ‘what any father would have done’.

The family – also including son Dougie, three – travelled to a five-star hotel where David was presented with his award and a cheque for £100.

Daniella Delaney, editor of Practical Parenting & Pregnancy, said: “David and Elsa’s story touched the hearts of many people.

“It is such an inspiring story and when you meet him he is such a lovely, calm guy.

“It is hard to imagine how anybody would react in that situation.”

David said: “It feels like I don’t have it harder than anyone else, so I’d like to thank everyone who voted.”

Read David’s story in the July edition of Practical Parenting & Pregnancy.