Portsmouth mum is reunited with Virgin Media worker who 'saved' her baby son's life with CPR

A MOTHER who feared her baby son had died in her arms after suffering a fit in the car has thanked the good samaritan who ‘saved his life’ by giving him CPR by the side of the road.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:05 am

Emma Davis, 28, thought her 17-month-old boy, Oliver, was ‘gone’ after he slumped into a febrile convulsion just after 9am on Monday December 30.

The pair were being driven home by Emma’s grandmother, Ellen, after a nurse practitioner at the Portsdown Group Practice diagnosed Oliver’s 39.3C fever as a viral infection.

Minutes after the appointment the toddler screamed in the car and lost consciousness, prompting the family to pull over on Allaway Avenue in Paulsgrove in ‘absolute shock’.

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Emma Davis with her son, Oliver, 17 months and Zoe French at Emma's home in Paulsgrove, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘He was completely floppy and lifeless,’ she said.

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‘His eyes were in the back of his head, his lips were blue and his mouth started frothing.

‘I shouted for help for my little boy but so many cars just drove past us. I thought he had passed away in my arms.’

Oliver stopped breathing and Emma's heart began to sink – until a Virgin Media van pulled over.

She said: ‘A lady jumped out and asked what was wrong. She took him from my arms, laid him out flat in the back of her van and did CPR.

‘He started breathing again. His eyes were still closed, but they opened when he started to cry as he got outside QA Hospital in an ambulance.’

The Virgin Media employee, now identified as Zoe French, stayed with Emma and her grandmother until paramedics arrived.

Emma is now spearheading a call to get Zoe recognised by the firm, after it emerged she was on her way to a job when she stopped to help.

‘If Zoe didn’t stop to help I don’t think Oliver would be here – she saved his life,’ said Emma.

‘She is amazing and I don’t know how I'll ever be able to thank her.’

Mum-of-one Zoe, 30, said: ‘I am so glad the first aid training I received when I was a McDonald’s employee has helped someone in their time in need.

‘Knowing CPR is so important and I hope this goes some way in making people want to learn.’

Mum Emma has vowed to undertake a first aid training course in the hope she could help someone else in the same situation.

She added: ‘I want more people to know about febrile convulsions because I had never heard of it before and if parents learn CPR then hopefully they will know what to do if a similar situation happens.’

After five weeks of his body temperature fluctuating Emma said doctors at QA have now diagnosed Oliver with tonsillitis and an upper respiratory tract infection.

Zoe’s heroics have now prompted praise from Virgin Media chiefs.

Paul Hutchinson, consumer field operations and support director at Virgin Media, said: ‘Everyone at Virgin Media is so proud of the actions carried out by our field technician, Zoe.

‘Her quick and decisive thinking proved to be lifesaving and it’s great that she’s been reunited with the family under happier circumstances and that they’ll continue to stay in touch.’

To find out more about first aid training courses visit:

St John’s Ambulance – sja.org.uk/courses/


Febrile convulsions are fits that can happen when a child has a fever. They occur most often between the ages of six months and three years.

The seizures are usually harmless and almost all children make a complete recovery afterwards.

They usually last for less than five minutes and a child may become stiff and their arms and legs may begin to twitch, lose consciousness and may wet or soil themselves, they may also be sick and foam at the mouth, and their eyes may roll back.

If a child is having a febrile seizure, place them in the recovery position and try to make a note of how long the seizure lasts.

Do not put anything into a child's mouth during a seizure – including medicine – as there is a slight chance they might bite their tongue.

Take a child to the nearest hospital or call 999 and ask for an ambulance