Hartlepool shopping centre praised after helping toddler who briefly stopped breathing

Shopping centre staff have been praised after assisting a toddler who briefly stopped breathing.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 7:00 am
Middleton Grange Shopping centre manager Mark Rycraft and a store manager have praised the professionalism of shopping centre staff following an incident in which a young boy briefly stopped breathing
Middleton Grange Shopping centre manager Mark Rycraft and a store manager have praised the professionalism of shopping centre staff following an incident in which a young boy briefly stopped breathing

The young boy – who was rushed to hospital – is believed to have since returned home following the incident at Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

Centre manager Mark Rycroft has now told how the praise his staff received was a “proud moment” for him.

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The incident took place on a busy first full day for the shopping centre following the easing of lockdown.

Customer care staff managed to keep their cool by shielding the child and assisted North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) paramedics when they arrived before the casualty was taken to Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees.

Mr Rycraft has now published a note he received the following day from the manager of the store where the incident took place.

It reads: “Hi Mark, if possible could you pass on thanks from me my team in [store name] to your security guards for their swift professional approach to the incident that occurred in our shop yesterday, we really valued their support in a very difficult situation.

"Update from the child's mother, overnight stay in hospital and keep a check on him and hoping to be back home today at some point. Thanks again Mark and your security team top job.

"This sends home the message that the customer care team's role is not just about directing customers, dealing with thefts and cleaning spillages.

"They are colleagues on the front line of retail and property management with a great deal of expertise and dedication."

Speaking to the Mail, Mr Rycraft said "we were prepared for the worst-case scenario on that day”, adding: “I wrote to both members of staff individually and spoke to them individually to formalise my gratitude to them.

"I’m extremely proud of what they’ve done, certainly on a challenging day.

"No amount of training could prepare them for the emotions and the adrenaline that pumps through your body at that moment in time.

“But to be able to deal with that situation once the training kicks in and with professionalism, I think it’s astounding.

The store where the incident took place has declined to comment.

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