herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Hero taximan who helped to save tot's life

THIS is hero taxi driver Karl O'Neill, whose quick actions helped save a little girl's life.

Poppy Bella Tate (1) suffered a febrile convulsion and turned lifeless in her mother's arms at Upper Dominick Street, Dublin.

Her parents, Lorna (23) and Frankie (24), feared the worst when Poppy's lips turned blue and she fell limp.

But quick-thinking Karl, who happened to be passing at the time, rushed them to the Rotunda Hospital and helped save the toddler's life.

"I saw the commotion. There was a group of people standing around. I thought someone had been knocked down. I could see a girl holding the baby and she was screaming 'somebody help me, somebody help me'," Karl revealed.



Panic

He pulled his cab over and called to the panic-stricken parents to get in.

"I took a short cut through a laneway and brought them to the hospital and they just jumped out," he told the Herald.

While he stayed calm as he took them to the emergency department, he realised afterwards the seriousness of what had happened.

"The baby was blue and the parents were saying said 'what'll we do? What'll we do?' I said 'blow into the baby's mouth'. I think the mother-in-law blew into the baby's mouth and the baby started coughing then and that was a good thing.

"When they got out of the car, then I was shaking. I didn't realise at the time [how serious it was]."

Father-of-one Karl (36), who lives in Marino in north Dublin, said he went through a short cut instead of the long way around, saving vital time.

Lorna said of the terrifying incident: "I was in my car checking her temperature, and you've to wait for it to beep, but I just watched it hitting 37, then 38, then 39. And I said to Frankie, 'I think her temperature is very high'.

"With that I felt this jerk, and I looked down and her eyes were rolling to the back of her head and she was making a snoring sound. Her whole body was limp as well.

"I just jumped out of the car and started screaming. I was trying to open her mouth to help her breathe, and a taxi man came and told us to get in."

Frankie and Lorna have now been able to thank Karl in person for his actions.

Doctors in the Rotunda Hospital treated Poppy and she was transferred to Temple Street Hospital and put on medication for a respiratory infection.

She is now well and at home after the scare last Monday.

Her dad Frankie recalled: "It was horrible. I just froze and I didn't know what to do. It was a nightmare.

"I think now that it's all over she's forgotten about it."

The couple also thanked the staff at the Rotunda and Temple Street hospitals.

hnews@herald.ie

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