North West Wales

Llandudno woman catches Florida balcony fall baby

A woman from Llandudno has been called "an angel sent from heaven" after she caught a 16-month-old baby who fell from a hotel balcony in Florida.

Jah-Nea Myles, apparently slipped through the balcony railing and fell 40ft (12m) into the arms of Helen Beard, who saved the girl from injury.

Ms Beard, 44, who lives in Worksop, was at the Orland hotel's pool when she saw the baby hanging from railings.

Ms Beard has been awarded a medal of merit by Florida police.

Ms Beard, a former pupil at Ysgol John Bright and a Cardiff University graduate, is on holiday in the US with partner Philip Charlesworth and 10-year-old son Ben.

The drama happened at the Econo Lodge hotel.

Her mother, Ann Beard, from Llandudno, said: "We're so proud. Her reactions must have been so quick.

"If anything had gone wrong it just doesn't bear thinking about.

"It was in the late evening and she just happened to be in the right place."

The first Ms Beard's parents knew of the drama was in an e-mail from their daughter saying: "A little girl aged two fell from her fourth-floor balcony and I caught her."

Ms Beard has a senior post with Doncaster's health authority.

Her parents Michael, 73, a retired businessman, and Ann received messages from friends and family praising their daughter's reactions.

Her father said: "If she had missed the baby they would have been home on the next flight."

Ms Beard held the child until emergency medical workers arrived.

'Not a scratch'

The toddler was taken to hospital, where medical staff said they saw no bruises or scratches and deemed her in good health.

An investigator with the Orange County sheriff's office described her as "playful" and said she was not crying.

Helena Myles, Jah-Nea's 20-year-old mother, told police her friend was watching the baby in an adjacent hotel room.

Ms Holt, 21, said she went to the bathroom about 2100 local time (0100 GMT), then heard screaming and saw the balcony door ajar.

She ran out onto the balcony and saw the baby in the arms of Ms Beard.

Ms Myles told Reuters: "She's perfectly fine. Not a scratch on her body.

"I'm thanking the Lord above right now for saving my child's life. I'm also thanking that lady because she was an angel sent from heaven."

Police said no criminal charges were pending.

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