Pop star, Antony Costa, has expressed his gratitude to a Haverhill woman for the part she played in saving his baby daughter.
Gemma Simmons from Withersfield Road, who is trained in first aid, stepped in when Mr Costa’s eight month old daughter, Savannah, suffered a seizure on March 3.
Mr Costa, of boy-band, Blue, and his fiancée, Rosanna Jasmin, had been visiting a potential wedding venue when the incident occurred.
Speaking to the Echo, Mr Costa said both he and Rosanna were profoundly grateful for Miss Simmons’ actions.
“We were just thinking the worst,” said Mr Costa. “One minute, Rosanna was holding Savannah in her arms and the next, she was down on the floor trying to get her to come round.
“She was having a fit. It was the scariest thing. Words can’t describe what goes through your head.”
Savannah had suffered a seizure having overheated and stopped breathing.
Luckily, Miss Simmons was on hand to help.
“Someone came running and said a baby was having a seizure,” said Miss Simmons. “The mother was crying hysterically. Antony had the look of fear in his eyes.
“I think shock was setting in. He looked totally traumatised with what was going on.
“I stepped in and asked the baby’s name. We called for an ambulance and I just kept talking to them. I told them they needed to be calm.
“I had training in how to deal with seizures in my previous job. Everyone needed to stay calm so we could go through the process.
“After a while, the baby stopped convulsing and started coming round. Antony asked me if I’d speak to the ambulance on the phone.
“I told them what was happening and that there was colour coming back to her lips.
“They took around 45 minutes to arrive, but they were there on the phone the whole time.” Savannah was taken to Addenbrooke’s hospital and is now at home where she is reportedly doing well.
“I just want to say how grateful I am for that lady’s help,” said Mr Costa. “If it had happened at home or on the road, who knows what could have happened?
“She really calmed us down. She was fantastic. It just goes to show that there are good people in the world.” Miss Simmons said: “Everyone congratulated me for feeling calm, but I didn’t feel calm. All the way through, I was thinking ‘I know this person’, but couldn’t place him. My priority was concentrating on the baby.
“With seizures, the worst can happen if the person vomits and chokes. They can also suffer brain damage if they stop breathing.
“In an ideal world, everyone on the planet should have training in dealing with seizures.”
After the incident, Mr Costa was contacted by the British Red Cross who have offered both him and Rosanna training in seizure response.
“It will put our minds at ease,” said Mr Costa. “I think all parents, especially with babies, should do this training.”
Mr Costa will be sending Miss Simmons a bouquet of flowers as a token of his gratitude.