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Bury St Edmunds mother tells how St John’s Ambulance course helped her save her son’s life

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:01 20 September 2017

Rebecca Smith is trying to encourage others to learn first aid after saving her son from choking. Left to right, Rebecca, Jared and Sam Smith. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Rebecca Smith is trying to encourage others to learn first aid after saving her son from choking. Left to right, Rebecca, Jared and Sam Smith. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Bury St Edmunds mother who helped save the life of her own son and her friend is encouraging more people to learn emergency first aid.

Healthy Jared having a run around. Picture: GREGG BROWNHealthy Jared having a run around. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Rebecca Smith, 33, was at a Bury restaurant with her husband Sam, 39, and son Jared, who is two-and-a-half-years-old, when her son get into difficulty after putting a chicken nugget in his mouth.

Mr Smith saw that he was in distress and patted him on the back, after which a piece of the nugget came out.

However, Mrs Smith then noticed that the initial gag had turned into a full choke.

She quickly scooped Jared out of his high chair, tipped him over and gave him five slaps on his back.

Fortunately, the rest of the nugget came out following the fifth back slap.

Mrs Smith, who said she was left very shaken by the incident, said: “First aid is such an essential skill to know as you really have no warning about when you might need to use it.

“I am so thankful that I had the knowledge to save Jared’s life.

“If the chicken nugget hadn’t come out with back slaps the situation could have become a lot worse.

“When the incident happened, the first aid I had learnt just came to me instantly.

“Nevertheless, the first thing I did when we got home was to call my dad and chat through what had happened, which really helped me feel better about things.”

As well as saving Jared’s life, Rebecca was involved in another incident last year when she helped to save a friend who was choking on a piece of apple.

“Both times it felt very scary and serious,” she added.

“I was very glad I had had the first aid training and it all kicked in.”

To find out more about first aid training with St John Ambulance, which offers a range of courses for different types of first aid at several centres in Suffolk, visit www.sja.org.uk/sja/training-courses.aspx

There are also several free first aid videos and a range of treatment advice on the charity’s website.

The organisation also has a free first aid app which can be downloaded for Android phones, iPhones and Blackberry handsets, which can help you through a range of emergency first aid situations.

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