27 April 2012
For further information Derek Masterton
Contact number 0141 891 4016 or 07818 457589
Scottish Baby and Toddler show – Alex McTaggart
Alex McTaggart has saved many lives during his 22 years as a first aid volunteer and instructor with the British Red Cross.
But the memory of his fight to save one life in particular will stay with him forever.
For the person he saved was a neighbour’s tiny one-year-old daughter who was unconscious and had turned blue.
Remembering the moment that little girl let out a cry and began breathing again still brings a lump to Alex’s throat. And it has made teaching first aid skills to as many people as possible his mission in life.
Alex, a 69-year-old grandfather of three from Glasgow, said: “When that wee girl cried, it was the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard. I can still hear her. I get emotional when I think about it.”
The first Alex knew of the drama unfolding next door was when he heard someone hammering on his front door. He opened it to find his neighbour on his doorstep, a limp little bundle cradled in his arms.
The distraught dad knew Alex was a trained Red Cross first aider and was the only hope he had of saving his precious little girl.
Alex said: “I got the dad to phone for an ambulance. His wee girl wasn’t breathing and had turned blue. I knew I had to do something - and quickly.
“I laid her down on the floor in the correct position and began to administer CPR - five gentle breaths into the little girl’s mouth followed by 30 compressions using two fingers on the centre of her chest. All the time, I was willing her to breathe again.
“After a minute or so, she gave a little cry and started to breathe. It was the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard. I can’t begin to describe how I felt – it was a moment of wonder, of huge relief. I’d saved a baby’s life. I was just so glad that I’d trained in first aid.”
That life-changing moment happened nine years ago. Even though she no longer lives next door, Alex still meets the little girl in the street occasionally. And every time he sees the happy, healthy 10-year-old he knows it’s thanks to his first aid skills that she’s still here.
Alex added: “Every parent should learn basic first aid skills – they could save their child’s life in a crisis. In fact, everybody should learn how to save a life. It’s so easy, it doesn’t take long to learn and it really can mean the difference between life and death. And the rewards for learning to do that are beyond measure.”
The Red Cross will have a stand at the Scottish Baby and Toddler show where parents – and everyone else – can get information about how and where they can learn first aid. Red Cross first aiders will also be on hand, giving demonstrations on how to save a life. The Scottish Baby and Toddler Show takes place at the SECC in Glasgow from 27 to 29 April 2012.
For further information on first aid learning opportunities and the work of the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.uk
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.