Allan and Norris Wilkinson. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Allan and Norris Wilkinson. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5: Two heroes have spoken of their triumphant efforts to save a baby girl’s life after she suddenly stopped breathing.

Allan and Norris Wilkinson performed vital CPR on the toddler to revive her, with the help of off-duty fireman, Caleb Zuill.

The trio have been hailed as ‘heroes’ by the two-year-old baby’s mother, who wrote to the men’s employers to express her gratitude.

She told the Bermuda Sun: “Words fail me as to how to thank these three young men for all that they did. It’s difficult for me to express my gratitude and to put into words he way I feel.

“They saved her life and deserve recognition. The 10 minutes before the ambulance services arrived were terrifying for me, and according to the doctors they are the most crucial.

“It is something my family will never forget.”

Allan and Norris had both been in Belvins Store in Middle Road, Devonshire when they heard a woman screaming outside.

Allan Wilkinson, 25, who works at Dunkley’s Dairy, said: “We ran outside and saw this lady holding her child. She was screaming and crying.

“The little girl looked like she was really struggling to breath. I put my jacket down in the middle of the road and we laid her on it. We then started CPR on her. Other people were diverting the traffic and Mr Zuill stepped in too.

“He did the breaths and we took it in turns with the chest compressions.

“There was a horrible moment when she stopped breathing completely but we carried on and were able to get her back.

“I called over the mom and she was speaking to the little girl as we worked. I honestly believe that hearing her mom’s voice helped us get her back.

“It must have been 10 minutes that we kept it going. It all happened very quickly and is a bit of a blur now. The ambulance arrived and took the little girl and her mom off to hospital. I was shaking afterwards and it was quite emotional too as I have a daughter of the same age. We were just happy to help.”

Fellow Dunkley’s worker, Norris Wilkinson, 22, added: “We came out on to the street and heard this lady yelling ‘someone help my baby’. She was asking if anyone knew CPR and I had just learned it at school in Alabama.

“I was just trying to think back to what I had learned before.

“It’s a whole different situation when you’re dealing with real people. We started the chest compressions and just kept going. It was an amazing moment when the little girl opened her eyes again. It was like we had got her back. I don’t think I realized the effect of what we had done until a day later. It was good to be able to help.”

Allan and Norris Wilkinson followed the ambulance to the hospital where the baby did not begin to breath on her own for nearly 15 minutes.

The toddler remained in intensive care for the next 24 hours and she was only discharged from hospital last week.

The baby’s mother, who asked not to be named, added: “ I came out of the hospital to call family and Allan and Norris approached me anxiously wanting to know how the baby was.

“They were incredibly emotional and overcome with relief to hear that they had saved my daughter’s life. We spent some time comforting each other and then they were permitted to go in to the ER and see her.

“The next day Allan came to visit with his daughter when my girl was on a general ward.”

Deputy Director, Dr. Rosalyn Bascombe-Adams, said: “If correct first aid is administered by a bystander to a child or adult who becomes unresponsive or stops breathing, this act can make the difference between life and death.

“The initial response is even more valuable than the follow-up medical intervention because if the correct actions are not taken initially, there will be no life for the medical team to fight for.”