THE RELIEVED parents of a three-year-old boy from Caldicot paid a visit to Gwent Police to thank those who had helped rescue their son after he swallowed a 1p coin.

Oliver Ball, had asked his parents Nicole Ball and Sean Clayton if he could carry the change after they had been to the shops last Saturday morning - but Ms Ball explained how seconds later Oliver had begun choking violently on the back seat of the car.

"We'd only just pulled away from the shop and I shouted that he was choking and Sean slammed the brakes on," she said.

"He immediately started doing back blows, and when that didn't work he stuck his fingers down Oliver's throat to try and open the airway.

"We were relieved when Oliver started crying because we knew he'd at least managed to catch his breath, but he then started vomiting a lot."

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It was then that two Gwent police officers - PC Darrell Hoare and Mark Waters - arrived by chance at the incident on Newport Road in the town.

"We can't thank them enough for what they did," the mother-of-three said, "They turned up and immediately calmed the situation and made the kids feel at ease.

"They performed the observations on Oliver and kept rubbing his back and called for an ambulance, and they even offered to give Sean a lift home once we'd got the hospital."

At 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon, Oliver had an operation at the Royal Gwent Hospital to remove the coin from his oesophagus.

The following day the family rang Gwent Police to request to meet the officers again in a much less stressful setting, and the officers agreed.

"On Sunday afternoon we went and said thank you properly to the officers and they were just as brilliant," Ms Ball added.

"They invited Oliver to have a go inside the police car and they put their hats on for him, which he loved - although all the kids had gone pretty shy.

"We can't thank them enough, it made a huge difference and we feel very lucky they happened to be there at the time."