Worksop woman stepped up to save newborn who stopped breathing in Greggs

Michelle Handshaw and her son Hayden Smith present Nichola Barclay, who holds baby Gracie, with a rose award.
Michelle Handshaw and her son Hayden Smith present Nichola Barclay, who holds baby Gracie, with a rose award.
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A quick-thinking Worksop woman who stepped forward to help a distressed mother whose newborn baby had stopped breathing has been honoured for her selfless actions with a Guardian Rose.

Nichola Barclay was presented with the accolade in a surprise ceremony at The Lion Hotel in Worksop this week.

She was nominated by Michelle Handshaw whose three-week-old baby, Gracie, stopped breathing during an outing in Worksop town centre recently.

Michelle was having a coffee with family in Greggs on Bridge Place when she noticed Gracie, who was born prematurely, had stopped breathing and was turning blue.

Nichola saw what was happening and took control of the situation, making sure Gracie’s airways were cleared and gently rubbing her back in order to help her to breathe while Greggs staff phoned an ambulance.

Gracie was taken to Bassetlaw Hospital and had made a full recovery, although she is being monitored by doctors after being diagnosed with breathing difficulties.

Michelle said: “It was horrible to see my little girl in that state. I can’t thank Nichola enough. I’m so glad she was there.

Nichola said it was “lovely” to receive a rose and said she was “so happy” Gracie was ok as she cradled the tiny tot in her arms.

She added: “I don’t have a medical background at all, and in these types of situations I often panic.

“But I am a mum and grandma myself, so I suppose instinct just kicked in.

“The whole experience was very shocking and upsetting-I cried afterwards. I am so relieved that Gracie alright.”

Greggs staff have also been praised for their part in getting Gracie safely to hospital while reassuring customers and talking to paramedics.

Staff also made Nichola a sandwich and drink as she had become very upset by the ordeal.

Nicola Donohoe was working in the store at the time. She said: “The woman who helped with the baby was absolutely amazing. Looking after her was the least we could do.

“It was busy that day and it was a bit of a job keeping both the family and customers calm.

“We were emotional ourselves- nobody wants to see a little baby in trouble. We are glad Gracie came through it all ok.”