Parents are supposed to protect their children. Children are vulnerable and by virtue of being young are inexperienced and have not developed the decision-making skills of an adult.
However, parents are not always going to be there to protect their children. Sometimes, parents may even be the ones in trouble while their children are OK.
For these reasons, children are taught from a young age the phone number for emergency services, just in case a situation arises where they are the only ones able to make the phone call. We all hope these scenarios never occur but unfortunately they do.
When they do happen, it is up to these young boys and girls to step up to the occasion and become the hero. Even though they are not the most articulate, simply the act of alerting emergency services can be lifesaving.
Suzie McCash is a 4-year-old girl from Tynemouth, England, who became one of these young heroes. Calling 999 (England’s equivalent to 911), young Suzie saved her mother, Dr. Rowena McCash’s, life.
Telling the operator, “Mummy is feeling poorly,” because her mother was unable to speak, ambulances were alerted of the grave situation. Rowena was suffering from an allergic reaction and despite using an EpiPen, her throat continued to close in — preventing her from breathing.
Adam Hall, the operator, was able to keep the situation calm while asking probing questions to get the right information from Suzie. He remained on the phone with her all the way until the ambulance arrived.
According to Jamie Frend, the paramedic who treated Dr. McCash on her way to the hospital, Suzie was even more impressive in person. He said, “When we arrived Suzie made a beeline for me and gave me possibly one of the most professional and succinct handovers regarding her mum that I have ever had. From a child, it blew me away.”
“She said Mum was possibly having a reaction to something and that she had taken her medication twice and it hadn’t worked. She gave me a good picture of what was happening,” he continued.
All of this information helped the paramedics understand what steps they needed to take next. Without question, had it not been for Suzie’s quick-thinking and communication her mother would have died.
According to BBC News, Dr. Rowena was especially praising of her daughter, “I feel incredibly fortunate for how brave and clever Suzie was and I am incredibly proud of her. She’s so amazing. Everyone thinks their children are amazing, but this is something else.”
Suzie was given a bravery award from the police and ambulance staff who responded to the call, but obviously the best reward was her mother’s health and homecoming from the hospital.
She can take this experience as further reaffirmation of her desire to be a paramedic when she grows up. We applaud you, Suzie!