Belper dad’s shock after new-born baby stops breathing

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A Belper dad has bought a defibrillator for his home and neighbours after his new-born daughter stopped breathing.

Chiropractor Matt Pigden, of Mill Lane, Belper, bought the life-saving machine to keep at his home and is urging friends and neighbours to use the machine in an emergency. The move was prompted by a medical emergency on Monday, February 26, when his then three-week-old daughter, Emilija, stopped breathing.

Matt, 41, was getting changed after work when his wife, Gabija, 33, called for help. She had looked down while breast-feeding to see that their baby was unresponsive and blue around the lips. Matt said: “When I got there, Emilija was ash grey and lifeless – dead-eyed. It was like I had three brains – my father brain thought we’d lost our baby. The other mind was trying to remember my first aid training and the third was just on reflex, I started to do mouth to mouth and back-slapping.”

Four times Matt managed to remove an obstruction from Emilija’s throat, allowing her to cry once before another blockage prevented her from breathing. After half an hour, he managed to get her breathing by herself as paramedics arrived and took the family to hospital where Emilija was checked over. He added: “I’ve done a lot of first aid and I’m glad I put in that time over the years because it kicked in when I needed it. I saw first-hand how hard it was for Emilija to breathe and she is a healthy baby who gave us no cause for concern before this. She didn’t struggle or choke as apparently they don’t develop this reflex straight away – there’s no indication something’s wrong, they just stop breathing.”

The new defibrillator will be kept at the family’s home at 6, Mill Lane but is available to anyone in the area in an emergency. Matt can be contacted on 07432 645617.