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East Midlands Ambulance Service saved baby Peggy Bradford after she became ill with sepsis

The parents of a baby girl taken seriously ill with sepsis have been reunited with the ambulance team that saved her.

Peggy Bradford was just 11 months old when she became poorly.

Mum, Emma took her to Peterborough City Hospital but was told it was a stomach bug and sent home.

Emma Bradford with toddler Peggy whose life was saved by parademics (11648891)
Emma Bradford with toddler Peggy whose life was saved by parademics (11648891)

In the early hours of the following morning, dad Craig, a lorry driver, got up to got to work and saw that Peggy’s skin looked grey and her lips had a blue tinge.

“Straight away I thought 'we need an ambulance'," said Craig, 31.

"I had seen her unwell before but never that bad."

Emma rang 999 and was put through to East Midland Ambulance Service call handler Bryan Cox, who dispatched a crew from Peterborough.

Bryan knew it would take 20 minutes for the crew to reach Emma and Craig's home in Bourne, and so he spent that time talking them through what to do, and keeping them as calm as possible.

"I could tell Emma was frantic," he said. "I asked her to listen for Peggy's breathing and describe to me about what she could hear and see, so that we could better understand what was wrong.

"I keep people calm because if they are panicking, they don't always spot things we need them to look out for."

Bryan stayed on the phone until paramedic Rhys Collings and colleague Lee Knowles arrived. They took immediate steps to tackle Peggy's symptoms.

"My heart sank when I saw her," said Rhys. "She looked really unwell and so we took her straight to the ambulance.

"Her temperature was through the roof - over 41C - and her heart rate and breathing were too high as well.

"The first thing we did was to remove her clothes to help to bring down her temperature, and to check for a rash, which she had on her back and tummy."

The rash didn't fade when pressed, making the medics suspect a bacterial infection, so Peggy was given an antibiotic injection and Nurofen to help bring down her temperature.

She was rushed back to hospital where doctors were on standby to give further treatment.

Mum Emma said: "Waiting for the ambulance to arrive was the most scary 20 minutes of my life. I thought Peggy was dying and that feeling will never leave me.

"But the people who work for East Midlands Ambulance Service were wonderful. They saved her life."

Emma added that she had trusted her instincts, and urged other parents to call 999 if they feel that their child is very unwell. "You just know," she said.

Peggy, who has a twin sister, Beatrix, was kept in hospital for three days on intravenous antibiotics to treat the life-threatening sepsis before being well enough to go home. She is now a healthy toddler.

Emma and Craig were delighted to be reunited with Bryan and Rhys this week.

"We are so, so grateful to them," said Emma. "We have Peggy's life to thank them for."

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