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Haringey police commendations: detectives fight to save baby
Police who worked tirelessly to try and save the life of a baby who drowned in the bath remain humble about their inspiring work – despite winning an award for their bravery.
PCs Paul Wilson, Ryan Appleyard, Rachel Palmer and Yucel Onay were praised for their efforts at Haringey Borough Commanders police commendation ceremony yesterday.
The detectives were called to Albany Close, Haringey, at 1pm on April 24 this year after a frantic mother dialled 999 and said something was wrong with her baby.
The distressed woman did not speak much English and when PCs Wilson and Appleyard, the first on the scene, arrived they thought they would be dealing with a domestic incident.
But when the hysterical mother opened the door they found the woman holding 14-month-old twin girls in her arms - but one of the babies was soaking wet, lifeless and not breathing.
PC Wilson said: “It was horrible. She was pale and colourless, as white as a sheet. There wasn’t any time to panic. I did what I had to do.
“I took the child and began CPR – the only thing going through my head was that I had to give her a fighting chance.”
As PC Wilson desperately tried to revive the toddler, PC Appleyard took care of other twin and tried to console the girl’s mother.
She spoke broken English but he established she had drowned in the bath after she briefly left her alone.
Ten minutes later, PC’s Palmer and Onay arrived at the scene and mother-of-two PC Palmer took over with the chest compressions.
Mother-of-two PC Palmer continued to carry out chest compressions in the ambulance with PC Wilson en route to the hospital, but the child was pronounced dead in hospital a short time after.
She said: “As a mother, it’s the worst thing that could happen. My instincts kicked in and I wanted to do all I could to try and save her.
“But in the back of my mind, I knew she was gone long before we arrived. I think we all did.”
PC Onay and PC Appleyard remained at the house to await the arrival of the child’s’ father and five-year-old sibling.
Despite having started work at 6am that morning, the detectives remained at the hospital with the family until 1am – and still returned to work at 10am the following day.
Yesterday, the foursome received certificates for their dedication to duty at the ceremony at Gladesmore School, Ferndale Road, South Tottenham.
But PC Wilson said: “It’s always an honour to receive an award like this but we were just doing our jobs. It’s not something you think twice about.”
Tottenham Hotspur footballer Ledley King also attended yesterday's awards ceremony to extend his gratitude.
Congratulating them on their award, Superintendent Mark Wolski said: “They displayed the highest level of professionalism and dedication to saving life in the most difficult circumstances.”
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