THE parents of a newborn baby who stopped breathing on Christmas Day have spoken of their shock at finding him – and their gratitude to the paramedics who saved him.

Family festivities ended abruptly for Kim and Tom Standage and the rest of their relatives when they spotted baby Damian Standage had stopped breathing and turned blue.

They say but for for the speed and professionalism of paramedics who arrived almost before they’d finished calling them, little Damian would have died.

Sales assistant Mrs Standage, 34, of Lowry Close, Shoebury, said: “I thought he was dead. I was hysterical and everyone was crying.

“My sister rang 999 and within minutes, the paramedics were there.”

Her 24-year-old husband, said: “I was a little bit calmer. Kim couldn’t bear looking at him like that, because it was so upsetting for her, so I had him in my arms.

“The paramedics were there so quickly and took him to the hospital.”

Grandparents Andy and Mary Young, of York Road, Rayleigh, had cooked Christmas dinner for the whole family and were relaxing, unaware baby Damian was in desperate trouble.

Former policeman Mr Young, 54, said: “We had 16 of us there and we were doing a Christmas quiz. My youngest daughter suddenly let out a scream and we saw Damian had gone blue-grey in his chair.

“He was slouched forwards with his head on his tummy and couldn’t breathe. I’m first aid-trained and everyone leapt into action.

“My first aid wasn’t needed, as he started to change colour as soon as he was picked up. It seemed as soon as the phone was down, the paramedic car was here. It was immediate.”

Damian was quickly hooked up to a heart monitor, given oxygen and taken to Southend Hospital, where he was treated for bronchiolitis, a common viral lung infection.

Mr Young, added: “The first paramedic was here so fast we had no time to wonder where they were.

“It was pretty scary for a few seconds, though and it cut all the cheer a bit short.

“The ambulance service were wonderful.

Sending a car before an ambulance is such a good idea.

Ambulances can’t go as fast as cars, yet the car still has most of the vital equipment.

“We felt reassured as soon as they were here.

“I want to say many thanks to the ambulance service and all the other emergency workers who were working over Christmas.”

Mrs Standage, who has six other children, added: “If it wasn’t for the paramedics and the people at the hospital, he wouldn’t be here now.”

Ambulance service general manager Lisa Faultley said: “I’m delighted the actions of our paramedics have been praised by the family.

“Everyone here gives up spending time with their own families at Christmas so they can help keep the families of others safe.

“Our paramedics don’t do their job for the praise.

“They do it to make a difference and to save lives, but it’s always great when their great efforts are recognised.”