Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds student Tom Dowsett helps save Tanzanian girl

Tom Dowsett with Sophia Mollel Image copyright Other
Image caption Mr Dowsett had volunteered to work in Tanzania

A University of Leeds medical student has told how he helped saved the life of a seven-year-old girl while volunteering in Tanzania.

Tom Dowsett, who is now back studying, was acting as a summer volunteer co-ordinator for Light in Africa.

Sophia Mollel was rushed to an orphanage with her windpipe blocked by a berry and in danger of suffocating.

Mr Dowsett gave cardiac massage for almost an hour to keep Sophia breathing on the car journey to hospital.

Sophia was then taken into surgery where the hard-shelled berry was removed.

Mr Dowsett said: "It was a traumatic experience for everyone involved.

"Three times during the journey we thought she had given up and then with increased stimulation from us she took a gasp out of nowhere."

The student, who has been volunteering with Light in Africa for three years, has just started his fourth year of medical training.

Light in Africa is a not-for-profit organisation caring for sick, disabled and abandoned children.

Mr Dowsett said he did not yet know what he would do when he qualified from university in 2013.

However, he said he would "definitely be going back" to Tanzania.

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