Mum reunited with premature daughter's life-savers

17 January 2018

A mum has been reunited with the life-savers who resuscitated her premature daughter when she was born in the back of an ambulance - 15 weeks early.

Jennifer Iskandar had suffered a difficult pregnancy when she went into labour unexpectedly at her home in Bridlington in May 2017.

Her mum Deborah Purvis called 999 and baby Mayah was delivered in a breech position with the umbilical cord around her neck in the back of the ambulance on the way to Scarborough Hospital. She was not breathing and had a deteriorating heart rate. The ambulance crew – Sam Berridge and Mark Ibbetson - spent the next 15 minutes of the journey resuscitating the tiny baby.

A full medical team was on standby to meet Mayah at the Emergency Department, where she was intubated and transferred to the high-dependency Special Care Baby Unit before being moved to Hull Royal Infirmary. Jennifer’s husband Dudi, who spends half of the year working in Indonesia as a dive master, flew back to the UK when he heard the news.

Mayah, who was born weighing only 890g, was discharged in September after spending 109 days in hospital. She is making good progress and Jennifer hopes she will be weaned off low-flow oxygen by March. She now weighs a healthy 5.48kg.

Jennifer, Deborah and Mayah visited Bridlington Ambulance Station earlier this month (January) to say thank you to the ambulance crew – Sam, Mark and Richard Lynas - who saved her life.

Jennifer, who also has a two-year-old called Remy, said: “We just wanted to meet them to thank them for saving her life – if it hadn’t been for them, Mayah wouldn’t be here today. I can’t put into words how grateful we are; they were incredible.

“It’s been a whirlwind eight months. I really thought I was going to lose her so for her to still be here and fighting is a miracle.”

The ambulance staff were thrilled to be reunited with the family and are looking forward to meeting again for a slice of birthday cake when Mayah reaches one on 31 May.

Sam said: “It was great to see the family again in very different circumstances and it’s heart-warming to realise that we made such a difference to their lives. We are delighted that Mayah is expected to live a normal life with no consequences of the premature delivery and absence of breathing and a heart rate until resuscitation.

“After the incident, we were contacted by a paediatric consultant who congratulated us on what we did and wanted to meet to discuss the case which is being used as a real-life example of neonatal resuscitation for premature babies at training events.”

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department