A MOTHER from St Columb has thanked a quick-thinking Newquay pub worker for saving her son's life.
Emily Vincent said she was hysterical as blood poured from two-year-old Jace's mouth during a severe fit at the Fort pub.
Luckily assistant manager Laura Catterall, a trained first aider, was on hand to help, immediately laying Jace in the recovery position and holding his head between her legs to ensure his airway was kept open. Ambulance crews rushed him to hospital for treatment.
Emily, a mother of four, described the ordeal as traumatic and said Laura, 25, had kept her son alive until paramedics arrived.
"He was playing in the play area," she said. "My daughter was holding him up when she shouted, 'He's having a fit'. I was hysterical.
"Laura ran over and put him in the recovery position. My husband called the ambulance.
"It felt like he was fitting for ages. His jaw was locked and he was bleeding out of his mouth.
"I was screaming; I thought he was dying, but Laura was trying to reassure me. She said he might just have bitten his tongue."
Jace, who has suffered nine severe fits in the past, was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro and discharged the next day, but had another fit at home.
Paramedics resuscitated him and he was taken into hospital again before being discharged on New Year's Eve.
Doctors are now carrying out tests to find out what is causing the fits.
"When he was fitting the next morning I laid him on his side and he vomited out of his nose; Laura taught me what to do," said Emily.
"There was another staff member who was also looking after us and a member of the public who came over and reassured me he was breathing.
"The pub didn't charge us for our food. We didn't eat it, but they didn't have to do that.
"We just want to say a big thank-you to everyone."
Laura said she was proud to have been able to help.
"I did a first aid course about a year ago," she said. "I didn't think I picked anything up from it.
"I was cleaning a table when I heard the screams. It all happened so fast; the adrenalin kicked in.
"I took the little boy off his mum and made sure he was stable. He was hot, so I took his clothes off.
"I got on the floor with him and held his head between my legs."
Laura said she was now considering a career in healthcare.
"I felt really, really proud of myself that I'd potentially helped that little boy," she said. "He was so little, it could have been so different.
"I didn't really have a plan, per se, so [healthcare] is something I'll look into after that."