Caseworker praised for saving lives of teenage mother-to-be and baby

posted : 30th December 2015

Olesya Gunn

A Migrant Help adviser is being praised for saving the lives of a teenage mother and her newborn baby after finding the pregnant woman sitting in a pool of blood.

The vulnerable woman, an Eastern European victim of trafficking living in south-east Kent, doesn’t speak English and became very scared when she started bleeding.

She was frightened and didn’t know what was happening. She thought she was giving birth and turned to the only people she trusted by telephoning Migrant Help UK, who had been giving her advice and support.

Olesya Gunn, 33, the woman’s outreach caseworker with the Dover-based charity, rushed to the flat where she found her client sitting in lots of blood on the floor.

Acting quickly, Olesya phoned for an ambulance saying it was an emergency. She then called an interpreter and got him to speak to the woman and reassure her.

“She was saying ‘I’m dying’ and was so scared,” said Olesya.

Ambulance took the unmarried woman to William Harvey Hospital, Ashford. Olesya followed by car so the woman would have a familiar face to offer support at the hospital.

The woman, who is in her late teens, was taken straight into the operation theatre for an emergency caesarean because of the risk to her life and that of her baby. She gave birth to a healthy girl just before Christmas.

Marina Hovaness, Migrant Help’s on-call advisor, said: “Olesya had the presence of mind to stay calm and act quickly. As the client’s caseworker she knows the woman well.

“She dealt with it quickly, calmly and efficiently. The medical team said that without Olesya’s prompt action the woman and her baby probably would have died.”

Another caseworker from Migrant Help went to the woman’s apartment to clean it and clear up the blood.

After being praised for her actions, Olesya said: “It’s what anyone would have done. My client doesn’t speak English and was scared. She didn’t know who to call for help but trusted me.

“When I got to her apartment she was sitting on the floor in her blood. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I was feeling scared and was almost crying as I called 999. I knew I had to act quickly.

“I went to the hospital because she was very stressed. Luckily a nurse at the hospital was able to speak her language.”

The woman is not being named to protect her identity as victim of human trafficking.