Binman to rescue as Bishop's Stortford boy suffers a seizure
A binman has been hailed a hero by a Bishop’s Stortford mum for helping to save her two-year-old son’s life.
Dustcart driver Alex Jeromson, 29, was in the right place at the right time when little Noah Horrax suffered a sudden and silent seizure.
The toddler, who attends Grove Cottage’s special needs nursery, was identified as autistic shortly before his second birthday after his parents, James, 34, and Lara, 31, paid privately for a diagnosis. Until Monday morning, however, he had never experienced a convulsion.
The tot was at home in Stansted Road with his mum and grandmother Sandra when he suddenly became ill.
Meanwhile, Alex’s refuse collection lorry had suffered a puncture near the Hockerill traffic lights. While his colleagues waited for a recovery vehicle, he decided to stretch his legs.
Lara, who specialises in mental health and dementia research, was about to head off to work while her mother-in-law was due to take Noah to Audley End miniature railway for the day.
Just as Lara was leaving, she noticed Noah was face-down on his play table. At first it looked like he had fallen asleep, but when she went to investigate she quickly realised it was something much worse: his eyes had rolled back, and when she gently shook him he was unresponsive and floppy.
“I work for the NHS and have had basic adult life support training – it’s not how you think a seizure would present itself,” Lara said. “That was the scary thing. It was completely silent – no jerking, no nothing.”
Sandra called 999 and Lara ran out of her house carrying Noah to find help. This is where Alex found her.
“She was looking a bit upset and panicky,” he said. “She wasn’t sure if he was breathing.”
Alex, who lives in Stanstead Abbotts, regularly brushes up on his first aid knowledge using a British Red Cross app which he downloaded after his fiancée, Danielle Hedgcock, went on a refresher course.
“I laid him down on the wall to check if he was breathing,” he said. “It was a bit sporadic so I put him in the recovery position.”
He held Noah in his arms in the recovery position for a few minutes and the toddler started to come round.
“Noah made this gurgling noise and started screaming – but screaming is better than not screaming,” Lara said.
Alex stayed with Lara, Sandra and Noah as they waited for an ambulance. He spoke to the 999 operator and advised Lara to stay outside so the paramedics would be able to find them quickly.
Before long, the ambulance arrived and took Lara and Noah to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.
Noah recovered but needs to return to hospital for tests to determine why he had the episode.
The ordeal gave Lara a lot to reflect upon. “He [Alex] really is amazing, and that’s one thing: I wanted to say thank you to Alex, and on the other side say how important first aid is,” she said.
Lara has since booked a first aid course which focuses on children. “The first few minutes after something happens are very important,” she said.
“Noah’s not in any immediate danger, but any seizure lasting more than five minutes can cause brain damage.”
When Lara spoke to the Indie yesterday things were getting back to normal in the Horrax household.
“He’s doing a lot better – it’s almost as though nothing has happened,” she said.
More by this authorCat Barkley