An incredibly brave eight-year-old boy who rang 999 when he found his mum crying and unable to speak has been presented with a special medal for his actions.
Mitchell Taylor, from Old Whittington near Chesterfield, immediately called for an ambulance when he realized his mum, Lauren, was poorly, and proceeded to follow instructions from our 999 call handler to carry out a stroke test.
Thanks to Mitchell’s quick-thinking and calm attitude on the phone, we were able to get help to 27-year-old Lauren within 10 minutes and save her life.
Lauren explained that on 20 December she had been out into the garden to try to call their dogs in when she realised she couldn’t speak.
She said: “I was trying to shout them but it just came out slurred, and my left arm had gone numb. I tried to ring my partner, but he couldn’t understand me, and so I texted him to say something was wrong.
“I was upset and I started panicking because I knew it was something really serious.
“Mitchell came downstairs and found me crying and I couldn’t speak properly, so he took my phone and called 999.”
Unknown to Lauren, she had a tumour in her heart and two small pieces had broken off and lodged in different parts of her brain. She was therefore suffering a double stroke which could have killed her.
Kyle Thacker, a 999 call handler for EMAS, answered Mitchell’s call and tailored his questions so that Mitchell would understand what he was asking.
During the call, Mitchell reassured his mum, looked after his four-year-old brother, worked through the FAST stroke tool with Kyle, put their pet dogs away, unlocked the door and showed the ambulance crew where his mum was.
Paramedic Andy Hilton arrived first on scene followed by Paramedic James Bonner, Paramedic Ryan Mullins and Emergency Care Assistant Kevin Waddingham.
The ambulance crew took Lauren to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where she was treated for the double stroke, and she has recently received heart surgery to remove the tumour.
Following the phone call, 999 call handler Kyle Thacker nominated Mitchell for a Laverick bravery medal to recognise his actions on the day.
The Laverick award was presented to Mitchell in a surprise assembly today at Cavendish Junior School.
The Laverick Award, which recognises children and young adults who have gone above and beyond to help another, is in memory of Nick Laverick – a paramedic team leader who died of cancer on his 37th birthday in September 2013. Nick’s friends and colleagues decided to continue his legacy through this award.