RUNNING out of her house in a blind panic, her lifeless son in her arms, Chama Yangthaisong came across a miracle – a group of young strangers who saved his life.
When two-year-old Ollie stopped breathing at their East Worthing home, Chama became desperate and ran into the street wearing just her pyjamas, screaming for help.
There, she came across 20-year-old Shellee Spooner, a childminder with a paediatric first aid qualification, who resuscitated Ollie, and kept him alive until the ambulance arrived.
Chama, 29, of New Parade, has credited Shellee, and the friends who helped her, Mende Stojanovski, Ben Rowe and Grace Jordan, with saving Ollie, who, after a short spell in hospital, is now back to his mischievous self.
“They have touched my heart, really,” she said, “I didn’t know any of them, but they all helped me.
“Especially Shellee. If she had not done what she did, Ollie would have died. I can’t even think about it.”
Shellee, 20, of Stanley Road, Wick, was in a car in the Aquarena car park, when she saw Chama and Ollie out of the corner of her eye.
“I don’t know why, but I just knew something was wrong. I could see this woman, Chama, and that she was carrying something but I didn’t know what it was,” she said.
“I just jumped out of the car and ran over. She was hysterical.
“It was only when I got closer that I realised she was carrying a baby. He was limp in her arms. I knew I had to do something.”
It took a while, but she eventually convinced Chama to hand Ollie to her, and while checking his breathing, and administering chest compressions, she organised her friends into something of a task force, speaking to emergency call operators, calming Chama down, and waking and looking after Louie.
After a couple of minutes, he started breathing again, albeit faintly, and Shellee said she knew he would be all right.
“I have had to stop a child choking before, but never anything like this,” she said.
Modestly, though, Shellee said she did only what “anyone else would do”.
“I am just glad that he is ok. I don’t know if I could have lived with myself if he hadn’t survived.”