A school girl who rang 999 when her mum suffered a bleed on the brain has been praised for her actions by the ambulance crew who helped them.
Elena Johnson, 13, was at home in Washingborough with her mum, Amy, back in August when she began screaming in pain and collapsed to the floor.
Unknown to Elena and Amy, 46-year-old Amy was suffering a bleed on the brain caused by a brain aneurysm which had haemorrhaged. An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall.
Thankfully, Elena realised that her mum was experiencing a medical emergency and rang 999.
She spoke to call handler Fiona Maunders and based on the information Elena provided, the highly-skilled ambulance crew arrived within 11 minutes.
Elena said: “It was a scary and confusing situation as my mum was suddenly on the floor and screaming quite loudly.
“She looked and sounded like she was awake, but she clearly did not understand what was going on around her. I asked her if I could do anything to help or if she needed a drink, but I could not get a response from her.
“I started to realise something was really wrong, so I rang my gran to tell her come over to help and then I rang 999.”
Paramedic Melissa Turner and Ambulance Technician Lee Wilson arrived at the scene and began treating Amy.
Lee Wilson said: “As we pulled up to the house Elena introduced herself and led us to her mum who was lying on the bedroom floor.
“Amy was very confused and disorientated at this time meaning she was unable to answer any questions at all.
“This made all the information that Elena was able to provide invaluable as she was the only person in the house with her mum at the time of the collapse.
“She was able to help us help Amy despite the fact she was very young and upset.”
During their examination of Amy, Lee and Melissa noticed that even the slightest movement caused her to vomit and wretch, causing the pain in Amy’s head to become unbearable.
Melissa gave Amy pain relief and anti-sickness medication in order to help Amy out of the house and into the back of the ambulance.
Amy was taken to Lincoln County Hospital initially before being transferred to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to undergo two operations on her brain.
Lee and Melissa have now praised Elena for her swift actions to help save her mum’s life and ensure they will be able to celebrate Christmas together this year.
Lee said: “Having someone able to tell you of the events and the patient’s condition leading up to the incident helps us to include and/or exclude possible causes or treatments.
“Elena was able to tell us that her mum had complained of a sudden severe headache before she heard her collapse in her bedroom. She also rang 999 and her grandparents for assistance. All the factors helped give Amy the best chances of a full recovery.
“I feel Elena should be very proud of how she acted during the traumatic events of that day and I am sure her whole family are proud of her too.
“Both Melissa and I would like to wish Amy a full and speedy recovery after her serious surgeries.”
Melissa said: “Ringing 999 was absolutely the right thing for Elena to do.
“She was absolutely amazing and stayed calm despite what was happening to her mum, giving us all the details, which helped in how we treated Amy and getting her to the hospital.”
After 10 days in hospital, Amy was discharged and allowed to return home to continue her recovery. The next step to normality for Amy is the hope of being able to return to her job with Lincolnshire Police, where she has worked for nearly 30 years.
Amy, who supports the force with major contracts, added: “They have been totally supportive throughout this whole process and have offered me the opportunity to go back to work in January on a phased return.
“I’m really excited to return so I can continue to support the police with their day to day operations once more.”
Elena explained that when she returned to school, her classmates said that they wouldn’t have known what to do had they been in the same situation.
The teenager has words of advice for her peers, and anyone who is faced with a life-threatening emergency.
She added: “No matter how scary it may be, you can make a difference if you act quickly and ring 999 if someone’s life is in danger.
“The lady on the phone was really nice and supportive. When I was struggling to answer some of the questions because I was confused and scared, she calmed me down and told me to take my time with the answers.
“It makes me feel safe to know that if my mum’s life was in danger again, I know that I can ring 999, provide them with the information they need, and help would be sent.
“This Christmas I am grateful that I have my mum still here with me and the rest of the family.”
Amy said: “My daughter is an absolute superstar for how she handled the situation.
“I have absolutely no recollection of that day or the subsequent days of being in hospital, but I get so emotional when I think about how brave she was to get me the help I needed.
“I have no doubt that without Elena being with me when I collapsed and providing the information to the call taker and ambulance crew, I wouldn’t still be here.”