Liverpool

Liverpool bus driver saves toddler from choking on sweet

Alder Hey chief executive Louise Shepherd and Norman Ball Image copyright Alder Hey
Image caption Alder Hey Hospital chief executive Louise Shepherd presented Norman Ball with a certificate

A bus driver has described the moment he saved a toddler from choking on a sweet.

Norman Ball was driving his 10B service into Liverpool when the worried child's mother told him something was wrong.

The 65-year-old stopped outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital and, after carrying out first aid to remove the sweet, ran inside with the little girl.

Mr Ball has now been praised by the hospital but said he "doesn't feel it's deserved".

Meeting the family again as he collected a certificate, he said he was "nearly brought to tears" seeing the child happily running around.

That was "the best bit" of the day, he added.

'Shouted for help'

Recalling how the drama unfolded on 3 March, the Arriva bus driver from Green Lane depot in Liverpool said: "I was driving into town and a young lady jumped up and shouted that she needed some help.

"I took the baby off mum and noticed it wasn't a very good colour - purple lips and a very pale complexion - and she said she'd been eating some sweets and was choking.

"She wasn't actually moving at the time, she was just blankly looking at me, so I turned her upside down and patted her on the back.

"I was close to Alder Hey so I just jumped off the bus and across the road and toddled into the hospital."

Mr Ball continued: "All the passengers were still on the bus when I went back 15 minutes later. They were absolutely bowled over with it.

"I was surprised that the bus was still there, and the takings were still there as well, which was nice, and I just carried on into town."

Alder Hey Hospital's chief executive Louise Shepherd said the "presence of mind" shown by Mr Ball was "just astonishing".

"We were just blown away by it so we just had to recognise it," she said.

However, a modest Mr Ball said: "There were so many nice things said about me it was humbling, and I don't personally feel it's deserved.

"I only did what anybody would have done."

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