"Our baby stopped breathing and died - we want infant CPR training to be made mandatory for all parents"
A couple left desperately searching YouTube for help while trying to resuscitate their baby are campaigning get infant CPR training given to all new parents. Rachel and Christian Pepper realised too late that they had little idea what to do when tiny Rowan stopped breathing during a feed. The one-week-old was rushed to hospital but, although doctors managed to stabilise him, he had suffered fatal brain damage and died a week later. Rachel, 35, and Christian, 38, now want to use their son's death to help educate other parents. The mum, from Derby, said: "When Rowan stopped breathing, it was a worst nightmare scenario. "I was hysterical - it was like something you watch on TV but you never think it will happen to you. "We had a couple of miscarriages before Rowan came along and we thought that was our bad luck over, then this happens. "We can't bring him back but we can't sit back and let our boy's death be in vain. "Showing new parents a short video about how to perform CPR on a young child could save lives. "If Rowan's death can save even one other child's life in the next 25 years, that would be my work done." Rachel, a site coordinator, and Christian, a warehouse operative, found out they were pregnant with their first child on February 28, 2022. After two previous miscarriages, their miracle baby Rowan was born on October 11 via caesarean at Royal Derby Hospital. After a couple of days in hospital he came home and "slotted perfectly into family life" straight away. But on October 18, days-old Rowan stopped breathing during a feed. The parents scrambled to call an ambulance and then attempted CPR on their tiny son. But they had no idea how to perform it on a baby, and had to follow a YouTube video. By the time they got to hospital, tiny Rowan hadn't been breathing for 47 minutes and had no pulse. Doctors managed to get his heart beating again using adrenaline and chest compressions - but his brain had been starved of oxygen too long. He was transferred to paediatric intensive care the following day and and put on a ventilator for several days. But doctors warned the brain damage was too severe. Rachel said: "The fact of the matter is he was only being kept alive by the ventilator. "The heartbreaking time came to see if he could survive without it." Rowan was taken off his ventilator on October 25 and the tot sadly passed away later that day with his loving parents by his side. Rowan's death was attributed to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), previously known as cot death - where a healthy baby has a sudden and unexplained death. Now the heartbroken parents are campaigning for new parents to be shown a CPR training video before leaving hospital with their newborns. They said after Rowan's birth they were shown a video telling parents not to shake their baby - but nothing about what to do if they choke or stop breathing. The campaign to get an infant CPR video shown to new parents - which they have called 'Rowan's rule' - would be their tiny son's legacy. The parents believe basic CPR training for new parents could save many other children's lives - so less families have to go through what they have. Rachel said: "All we want is for things to change, we can’t live in a world where it’s ok to show new parents how not to kill their child, but not how to save them. "I'm sure any parent would want to know how to save them if the worst happened." After going through the trauma of losing their only child, Rachel says the campaign keeps them going. She said: "Now, whenever I see a new parent with a newborn, all I want to do is go up to them and tell them to watch a CPR video. "It's tough, but I have to put my energy somewhere and make sure my son's death wasn’t in vain." Resources on how to do infant CPR can be found here: https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/paediatric-first-aid/how-to-do-cpr-on-a-baby