A POLICEMAN has been hailed a hero after saving the life of a seven-day-old baby who had stopped breathing.
PC Donald McFadyen, 42, was policing the Bathgate Gala Day on Saturday June 5 when a man rushed up to him and asked if he could help the lifeless baby.
Little Archie Greenwell was in his home across the road from the start of the Gala day procession with his parents and friends when he choked, stopped breathing and turned blue.
But Donald rushed to his aid and managed to bring the tot back to life.
He said: “I was standing right across the road from the couple’s house when a young man ran out and said they needed an ambulance because the baby had gone blue and wasn’t breathing.
“I radioed in and asked for an ambulance, went into the house and saw a woman was holding the baby and he wasn’t responsive.
“I told someone to phone 999 to get instructions on what to do to get him breathing.
“Then I went over to the baby and I said to the woman who was holding him to turn him over, so he was face up and I showed her how to rub his chest.
“I was beginning to get worried at that stage, but then he opened his eyes, had a bit of a cough and started blinking and looking around.
“At that point the ambulance arrived, so I went out and stopped the traffic from the procession and asked a couple of the police motorcyclists to escort the ambulance to St John’s Hospital.
“I gave me a real fright when I saw the baby – it isn’t nice to see a little baby like that at all.
“There was lots of shouting and panic but between everybody, everyone was fine.”
Although Donald has been in the police force for 21 years, he has never had to give CPR to anyone before.
He said he was grateful for the regular training that Lothian and Borders provide.
Donald said: “I’ve never had to give CPR before.
“We get it as part of our training and I’m due to have it next week actually.
“I could kiss my first aid teacher because without the training we got, the wee boy might not still be here.
“We were told to gently rub with two fingers and that’s what I did and it worked.”
And although his wife Phyllis, 41, and their two children Fiona, 16, and Katie, four, are proud of him, Donald doesn’t think what he did was special.
He said: “Hero isn’t a term I would use.
“It was great to see that the wee one was alright. It was great because at one point he wasn’t responding at all and I thought ‘oh no’.
“But then he coughed and was blinking and fine again.
“I was asked to help and I helped – I was happy to do so.”
After Archie was taken off to St John’s Hospital in Livingston to be checked over, Donald returned to duty, then went back to make sure the family were okay.
And Archie’s mum Gillian, 32, said that she and her husband Ian owed Donald a lot.
She said: “During a feed, Archie just went limp and turned blue, so panic ensued and we saw Donald and went and got him.
“Donald was wonderful when he arrived because he just took control and really helped calm me down.
“He got instructions on what to do to help Archie and arranged an ambulance for him.
“He came back after we had gone to hospital to let everyone know that he’d been in touch with the hospital and Archie was well.
“The hospital kept Archie and I in for a couple of nights, and Donald kept in touch to make sure we were alright.
“He really went beyond the call of duty – he was fantastic.”
Donald is now set to receive a Meritorious Award from Lothian and Borders Police for his quick-thinking actions.
Temporary Chief Superintendent Jeanette McDiarmid said: “I am extremely proud of PC McFadyen’s efforts in reviving the child and helping to reassure his parents.
“For any parent, the prospect of being unable to help your child when they are in difficulty is a nightmare and PC McFadyen did everything he could to keep the situation calm and help the little boy on his way to a full recovery.
“I look forward to congratulating him on his award in the near future.”