'Thank you for saving my little boy'

Eternally grateful...caring mum Jenna Howarth and two-year-old Jack Briggs.
Eternally grateful...caring mum Jenna Howarth and two-year-old Jack Briggs.

A distraught mum whose two-year-old suffered a terrifying seizure wants to thank the mystery strangers who helped save her son.

Gemma Howarth, 25, says more than a dozen passersby leapt into action as two-year-old Jack began shaking violently in the back seat of her car.

Gemma, who has three sons in all, said she had just left her home on New Burlington Road, before little Jack suddenly became unwell.

“He was crying - and then he just stopped,” said Gemma.

“I turned around and his eyes were flickering and he was shaking. He was having a seizure.

“We were in the car and I just had to slam-on.”

Jack’s seizure was especially distressing for mum Gemma, because the toddler suffers from a host of serious medical conditions.

One of them is Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) - a very rare genetic disorder that causes physical and cognitive complications.

It means Jack weighs around the same as a 12-month-old baby.

Gemma said: "I was waiting for someone to call an ambulance. Loads of people crowded round.

“He was unresponsive for four minutes and he went floppy and blue. He looked dead to me – other people said they thought he was dead.”

A passer-by, thought to be an off-duty nurse, began inspecting Jack for any symptoms for serious illness.

A cyclist, who Gemma says helped calm her down, dialled 999 and an fast-response vehicle was on site within four minutes.

Gemma added: “The ambulance came and took him to Scarborough Hospital.

“Luckily, Jack was able to go home the same day.”

Gemma has already thanked a number of people who came to her son’s aid, but wants to extend her gratitude to others she did not know.

She also wants the mystery samaritans to know that Jack has recovered since his seizure last Wednesday.

It comes after Jack underwent an operation last year to have a feeding tube fitted.

Gemma said Jack’s CdLS presents a range of problems for the two-year-old.

"It’s a life-limiting condition. He can’t be around people with colds - if someone is ill, he can’t be around them," she added.

Despite this, the caring mum described Jack as a “very cheeky and lively” little boy.

He is now looking forward to his birthday in January when he will turn three.