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Video: Hornchurch charity volunteer saves baby's life - using first aid he learned watching Casualty

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 June 2015

John Edwards with baby Arda (aged seven months)

John Edwards with baby Arda (aged seven months)

Archant

This is the moment a heroic charity volunteer was reunited with a mother after saving her baby's life - using first aid he learned watching TV show Casualty.

John Edwards says goodbye to mother, Galya Angelova and baby Arda (aged seven months)John Edwards says goodbye to mother, Galya Angelova and baby Arda (aged seven months)

John Edwards, 37, was delivering furniture for Saint Francis Hospice in Hornchurch last week when he and his driver decided to make a drop off earlier than planned.

But when he knocked on the door of regular customer Galya Angelova in Chaplaincy Gardens, he had no idea how fateful that decision would be.

The mum-of-two, 31, ran out of the flat crying with her seven-month-old baby Arda who wasn’t breathing.

Quick-thinking John took “lifeless” Arda, laid him down on a pillow and began performing CPR.

John Edwards is hugged by Galya Angelova, the mother of baby Arda.John Edwards is hugged by Galya Angelova, the mother of baby Arda.

“To me, he was dead,” he told the Recorder. “He was white, his lips were blue and his pupils were very small.

“His grandmother was there screaming but didn’t speak English and his mother was calling an ambulance and with her daughter. I had to work out what to do.

“I had to keep calm. I blew in his mouth and used three fingers to press his chest 10 times, I did that twice. After the second time, he started breathing.”

Galya and partner Taner Armusen, 35 – who had rushed home from work – then took Arda to Queen’s Hospital in an ambulance where doctors said he had suffered a serious convulsion.

John learned his CPR technique watching Casualty. Picture: BBC - Photographer: Jay BrooksJohn learned his CPR technique watching Casualty. Picture: BBC - Photographer: Jay Brooks

But the father-of-two, a lorry driver by trade, had done so with no first aid training.

Instead, his heroics were based on techniques seen in BBC medical dramas like Casualty and Holby City.

John, of Upper Rainham Road, Hornchurch, is only volunteering at the High Street store because of a driving ban for totting up points, and put Thursday’s events down to fate.

“I’ve never gone out to deliver before,” he revealed. “And we were early – we were meant to go at 2 but we were in the area at 12.

“It didn’t sink in until we got back to the shop. I had a moment and started to cry.”

John, who was given Friday off, was reunited with the family on Monday.

“I thought my boy was dying,” said an emotional Galya, a former TV producer from Istanbul. “John saved his life.

“Arda was suffering from a fever and had a serious convulsion, but is now completely fine – which is the best thing – because sometimes it can affect a child a lot.

“They weren’t meant to come until 2pm. It makes us believe things are not a coincidence. John is welcome anytime.”

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