A mum has described a midwife as 'amazing' after she saved her daughter's life and went out of her way to support her with her physical and mental health when she fell pregnant again.

Dorset County Hospital midwife Rachel McWilliams won the South West Regional Award in the UK MUM Awards 2023 run by the charity Baby Lifeline.

She was nominated by Kate Summers from Weymouth.

Kate had her first child, Olivia, nearly eight years ago, and explained that at birth she ‘stopped breathing and required resuscitation.’

Rachel, who had recently started working at DCH, sprung into action and performed CPR, saving Olivia’s life.

She was around to support Kate again when her second child, Henry, was due to be born.

Dorset Echo: Rachel with Kate's two childrenRachel with Kate's two children (Image: Kate Summers)

Kate said: “I fell pregnant again last year, and Rachel was my midwife. I suffered with really bad cramps and was later diagnosed with placenta previa.

“During my pregnancy I had multiple appointments, sometimes three a week with multiple scans and further meetings to discuss the best care for baby and me.

“This was not only maternal, but they were also for my mental health too, to ensure that I was being appropriately looked after - this is something Rach picked up on and referred me for.

“Rach came to all my meetings - if it was her day off, she would be there and still support me.”

Due to the complications with her pregnancy, Kate was scheduled for a C-section but was rushed in early as an emergency.

She added: “I remember calling Rach that morning as I was being readmitted saying ‘it’s happened again.’ It was Saturday and her day off. We were told within the hour I would be having an emergency C section. Rach then called back and said she wanted to be there - however, this time I said no.

“I needed to man up. I could do it, and she could enjoy her day off. But how amazing that she offered to race in to be there, thankfully (partner) Gary made it in time.

“Henry was then delivered six weeks’ premature due to my most severe bleed. This time putting mine and his life at risk. It was safer for him to be out than in I don’t think I’ve ever felt pain like it.

“The day then came for Rach to meet Henry; she scooped him out the incubator with tears rolling down her cheek and said, ‘my boy you’re worth it’ and she was right.

Dorset Echo: Rachel with HenryRachel with Henry (Image: Kate Summers)

Kate described Rachel as ‘the most amazing woman’ adding, ‘I just want to thank her for saving my family.’

Rachel, from Weymouth, explained that she was ‘shell-shocked’ when she received the news that she had won the award.

Dorset Echo: Rachel receiving her awardRachel receiving her award (Image: Rachel McWilliams)

She said: “I’m just doing my job. Sometimes you’re doing your job, and you don’t realise the difference that you’re making.”

The awards ceremony took place in London, where Rachel got to meet plenty of other inspirational NHS winners.

She was also invited for an event at 10 Downing Street as part of the celebrations.

She said: “When you have looked after someone for nine months, you just want them to have the best care experience possible.

Dorset Echo: Rachel at 10 Downing Street as part of the awards celebrationsRachel at 10 Downing Street as part of the awards celebrations (Image: Rachel McWilliams)

“I love it all, I love looking after people and caring for them and I want them to feel cared for.”