999 call handler meets baby she helped deliver and whose life she saved SEVEN years ago

999 call handler meets baby she helped deliver and whose life she saved SEVEN years ago


A seven-year-old boy who was not breathing when he was born 14 weeks early has finally met the 999 call handler who helped to save his life.

Seth Butland was born in Edwinstowe, Nottingham, when his mum went into labour and her aunt had to call 999 for urgent help.

Weighing just 1lb 15oz, Seth is now a healthy young boy thanks to the support of 999 call handler Dawn Jennings.

Seven years on, Seth and his family have finally met the lady who helped his mum through labour and then helped to save his life.

Seth’s mum Liz, now 33, said: “I’ve never forgotten the guidance and support Dawn gave us over the phone, and I don’t think I ever will.

“It’s been really good meeting Dawn today, and we are definitely going to stay in touch.”

Liz, who lives in Pembrokeshire, had been visiting her aunt, Dorcas, in Nottingham back in October 2010 for a final holiday before her first baby arrived.

Seth as a baby.jpg

However, on the afternoon of 28 October, Liz went into a very fast labour and her aunt frantically called 999 for assistance.

Dawn Jennings, a 999 call handler for EMAS at the time, talked both Liz and Dorcas through the labour.

Liz said: “I had been feeling sick and had back pain so I had arranged to see a doctor because I thought I had a virus.

“I went to lie down on the bed and suddenly I felt something, and realised Seth was crowning. My aunt called 999 and Dawn talked her through how to deliver the baby.

“But he wasn’t breathing when he was born, so Dawn then talked my aunt through cardio pulmonary resuscitation  and mouth to mouth.

“It was one of the scariest moments of my life, but having Dawn on the end of the phone made me stronger.”

The ambulance arrived four minutes after Seth was born and they whisked him off to hospital for further treatment.

Seth and Dawn.jpg

Liz added: “Thanks to that first guidance and interaction from Dawn, Seth is a very happy, amazing seven-year-old boy.”

Dawn, who decided not to continue as a 999 call handler when she had children of her own, said that in her two years with EMAS she only helped to deliver four babies over the phone, and she vividly remembers the phone call with Liz and Dorcus.

She said: “That phone call sticks in my mind – the baby was very early and Dorcas was quite panicky. It was a scary situation.

“When you help someone deliver a baby over the phone, all you want to do is hear that baby cry, but he didn’t. I was so relieved when the ambulance crew arrived and I thought ‘thank God’.”

Seth spent four months in hospital after he was born but thanks to all the hard work of EMAS crews and hospital teams, he is a healthy young boy and will be starting junior school in September. 

The ambulance crews who attended Liz and Seth were Joanne Clarke, Dean Farmer, Carl Keeble and Mark Caudwell.