A NEW dad has praised the “brilliant” doctors and nurses who helped save his new-born son’s life.

Steven Clark, 24, from Stanley, County Durham, feared the worst when he realised that his baby son, also called Steven, was not breathing .

His girlfriend, Rhiannon Northey, 18, had just given birth to her 10lb 7oz baby son at the University Hospital of North Durham.

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Doctors had decided she needed an emergency caesarean after she was rushed into the Durham City hospital on Sunday, June 1 at 37 weeks pregnant.

Mr Clark was present at the birth and could see that the baby was not breathing and had blue lips.

“It was one of the worst things I have ever seen and it went on for ages. I had to leave the room because I could see he was really distressed,” he said.

A short time later he heard his new son crying loudly.

“They transferred him to the neonatal unit and you immediately fear the worst," said Mr Clark. "I thought he might be brain damaged because he wasn’t breathing.”

But after a day and a half in the neonatal intensive care unit baby Steven was well enough to be transferred back to a normal ward and be re-united with his mother.

“They did a brain scan on him and despite him not breathing for so long they have told us that he looks normal and doesn’t have long-term brain damage,” said Mr Clark.

Baby Steven is now doing well at home and is a big hit with his sister, Summer, who is nearly two.

Mr Clark said he was hugely impressed at the skill and dedication of medical and nursing staff at theDurham hospital and wants them to know it.

“I contacted The Northern Echo because I feel the doctors and nurses don’t get the credit they deserve,” said Mr Clark.

“It annoys me when you hear people saying the NHS is rubbish, for me, they are absolutely amazing in what they do. I couldn’t thank them enough for what they have done for my son and my family,” he added.

“I want to do some kind of fundraising for the neonatal unit and it would be great to include Steven when he is a bit older,” he added.