7-year-old Adam saves grandad with 999 call

"Please hurry, my grandad is dying"

A seven-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after he saved his grandfather's life.

Adam Smith stayed calm and dialled 999 when his 76-year-old grandfather and babysitter, Bob Donkin, collapsed in  Sunderland, on 2 January.

NEAS call handler Katie Knapton talked Adam through what to do, staying on the line throughout reassuring him until the ambulance crew arrived.

Katie said: "Adam did really well. I couldn't stop thinking about him and his grandad over the next few days, wondering how they were."

During the call, Adam told Katie: "Please hurry, my grandad is dying."

Adam's younger sister Amy helped Mr Donkin to lie down while Adam fetched his grandfather's medicine to show paramedics, and locked their dog in another room to avoid disrupting the crew's work. 

Mr Donkin, a retired dockworker, was looking after the siblings while his daughter Andrea Smith and husband James  went out for a meal.

Mrs Smith said police contacted the couple at 7:15pm to tell them what had happened.

She said: "My dad was OK when my husband left. He then went into the kitchen because of getting a pain in his chest.

"Adam and Amy helped him back into the sitting room and helped him get down on to the settee before Adam rang 999.

"I'm so immensely proud of Adam. You can't put it into words. My dad wouldn't be here if he hadn't done what he did," she added.

Mr Donkin is currently recovering at home following an operation at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

The North East Ambulance Service has rewarded the pair with certificates of merit for their bravery.

A spokeswoman from the Service said: "Given their ages, Adam and Amy did remarkably well to keep such cool heads.

"Being with someone who is suffering a suspected heart attack can be a very traumatic and distressing experience - so to have the presence of mind to make the 999 call, which probably saved their granddad's life, is something that deserves public recognition."

British Heart Foundation figures show that  50,000 men and 32,000 women in England suffer from a heart attack each year.

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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