Car salesman retraining as paramedic after daughter’s heartbreaking struggle

  • Car dealer turns paramedic after being inspired by daughter’s care
  • Carl Birks baby daughter was given a 5% chance of survival after being born three months premature
  • Tot was diagnosed with rare condition, hydrops fetalis which causes fluid build up in tissues and organs

Time 9:20 am, February 28, 2024

A car salesman has turned his back on the automotive industry to retrain as a paramedic after being inspired by the care given to his young daughter.

Carl Birks had years of motor sales experience behind him when his daughter Felicity was born premature in 2019, suffering from the rare condition, hydrops fetalis.

The illness sees large amounts of fluid build up in a baby’s tissues and organs, causing extensive swelling.

Felicity was given just a 5% chance of surviving the ordeal but her life was saved following expert medical care.

The experience was enough to convince the Doncaster native to walk away from the motor trade and he is now retraining as a paramedic.

The BBC reports that the 34-year-old started a paramedic science degree course at the University of Bradford in September and is now ‘really enjoying’ his drastic career change.

He said: ‘I want to make people feel a tiny bit better, as that support got me through it.

‘I want to be that person for someone else. It’s not just about the immediate patient they have to look after.’

Despite being given such a small hope of surviving infancy, having been born three months early, Felicity pulled through and is now a ‘sassy and bossy’ four-year-old.

Her father, who has three other children, says he has no regrets about leaving the automotive industry.

He is now hoping to join his wife, who currently works as a healthcare assistant at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, in the medical world.

Speaking about Felicty, Birks told the Beeb: ‘She is so sassy and bossy, she is your typical four-year-old girl.

‘Before any of this happened I never thought I could do this as a job. As soon as I did it I thought “This is me, this is what I want to do”.’

Main image: General shot of a paramedic (PA Images)

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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