Mum’s mission to track down Romford strangers who helped when her daughter collapsed

Grateful Hornchurch mum Zoe Hayes is on a mission.

She’s hoping to track down the kind-hearted strangers who came to the rescue when her daughter stopped breathing in the centre of Romford.

Zoe, 32, was enjoying a lunch break with her family on Saturday, September 22, when the unthinkable happened – her little girl Maisie, aged 14 months, had a seizure and lost consciousness.

“As we were crossing the road she tripped,” Zoe, of Globe Street, told the Recorder. “She banged the back of her head and when we went to pick her up she just wasn’t breathing. She started turning blue – her eyes rolled back in her head and she was completely limp.”

Panicking as she held her daughter’s body, Zoe began screaming for help – and the Romford public didn’t disappoint.

A woman took Maisie and began giving her first aid, while another comforted Zoe and explained what was happening. One by one, more people came to see how they could help, until finally someone gave Zoe the news her daughter was breathing again.

“It felt like forever, but I don’t think it was any more than a couple of minutes,” said the mother-of-three.

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But the panic wasn’t over.

“She was completely unresponsive,” Zoe explained. “Her head was rolled back and she was very pale. I was absolutely terrified.”

It wasn’t until she arrived at Queen’s Hospital that little Maisie regained consciousness and started crying.

Later, hours after giving her parents the fright of their lives, she was alert and playing as though nothing had happened.

Now Zoe and her husband Mike want to say thank-you to those who materialised out of the South Street crowd to help their youngest daughter.

“There were so many people,” said Zoe. “If we’d been on our own, I don’t know what we would have done.”

One man even drove all the way to Queen’s Hospital just to check the toddler he’d seen collapsing was alright.

But Zoe and her husband were in such a state of shock they didn’t manage to save any phone numbers – so they’ve enlisted the Recorder’s help to let people know Maisie is alive and well.

Zoe remembers a couple of names – a mum called Sarah and a nurse called Beth were in the crowd that day.

And the woman who gave Maisie CPR has already been found.

But others, like the man who drove to Queen’s, remain a mystery.

If you were there and you’d like to get in touch with Zoe, please contact the Recorder on 020 8477 3878 or e-mail

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