A community worker came into what he thought was just another day at work, oblivious to the fact that he was about to save a child’s life.
Late last year, 40-year-old Jaime de Loma-Osorio Ricon arrived at Banksia Gardens Community Services where he saw a father trip with an infant in his arms. Noticing that the father had injured his ankle, Jamie immediately got involved.
“Amongst all the commotion, the mother had noticed the baby was no longer breathing,” says Jamie. “The first thing she did was put the baby in my arms.”
The whole situation was “extremely unsettling” no one wants to do this “first thing in the morning, let alone ever” says Jamie.
“Lucky enough I had previously completed a first aid course and was able to help” says the community worker. “I had noticed the airways were obstructed and flipped the infant over to try and help him to breathe.”
Jamie watched the colour of the child’s face change as he franticly tapped in between the baby’s shoulder blades. The organisation’s CEO, Gina Dougall, was also there and mentioned how distressing the whole situation was. “The baby was unresponsive; we were all in shock.”
After what “felt like forever” Jamie put his hands in the baby’s mouth and scooped out what seemed to be the blockage. The baby finally started coughing and, in this moment, an overwhelming feeling of relief was quickly overridden by the noise of the pregnant mother’s contractions starting.
The mother took the child and was escorted to the centre’s trained nurses.
Jamie’s work over the years has impacted the community in many ways, improving many social issues. The northern suburbs have Jamie to thank for acts relating to crime prevention, education, childcare, immigration settling, public housing and environmental sustainability.
As he has worked at Banksia Gardens Community Services for many years, helping the community is what he has always known but never expected it would be to this extent.
Having two children himself he “could have only imagined what the parents were going through” in those few long minutes. “It was no surprise the pregnant mother started having contractions,” Jamie says.
Jamie goes on to say that he didn’t feel like a hero at the time but was overcome by many intense emotions after it happened, crying almost as soon as he went inside.
The local community centre in Broadmeadows recognised Jamie as a true hero and spoke about his actions for many weeks; although a lack of public exposure dismissed the incident rather quickly.
CEO Gina Dougall says although this sort of thing is very out of the ordinary, it seems to be “just another day in the life of a community worker.”