Ambulance service awards certificate to brave seven-year-old

Bethan looked after mum after she collapsed while shopping

A brave seven-year-old has been rewarded with a certificate by North East Ambulance Service after caring for her mum in an emergency.

Amber Rochester was out shopping at Sainsbury's in South Gosforth with her daughter Bethan on 15 February when she suddenly suffered a diabetic hypo and collapsed at the tills.

Bethan raised the alarm with supermarket staff, who called 999 on her behalf and cared for Bethan and Amber until North East Ambulance paramedic Will Stodart and emergency care assistant Michael Hall arrived.

Despite being frightened by the experience, Bethan was able to supply valuable information about her mum to Will and Michael to ensure she receive appropriate care quickly.

The 38-year-old hairdresser, of Holystone, said: “She was super duper brave, I’m so proud of her.

“We’ve explained to her a few times what to do but never thinking for one second that she would have to act on what we told her.

“I normally get a lot of signs that I’m going to have a hypo but for some reason on this particular occasion I didn’t. I remember looking up at the top shelf and having blurry vision, then turning around to pick up a bag of sweets and that’s it, I can’t remember anything after that.

“Bethan says I had gone to the till to pay when I went a horrible colour and fell over. Bethan screamed and the staff came over to help. By this time I can only assume I was convulsing as they told the call handler I was epileptic.

“Bethan ran through the shop to find Lucozade as she knows that helps me but I was too far gone by that point. The next thing I knew I was coming to in the ambulance.

“Bethan must have been incredibly frightened but she was just brilliant and so brave.”

Will and Michael were so impressed by the way Bethan handled the incident that they decided to award her a bravery certificate.

Former soldier Will, who joined North East Ambulance Service in 2003 following a tour in Afghanistan with the Territorial Army and qualified as a paramedic in 2010, said: “Bethan was understandably upset when we arrived on scene but through the tears she was able to tell us her mum’s name, where they lived and that she was diabetic. She was really rational, like a little adult really; she was fantastic.

“We know it was really frightening for her and just wanted her to know how brave we thought she was.”

Michael, who volunteers as a special constable in his spare time, swapped the boardroom for an ambulance last year when he left his role as a managing director in a training firm to become an Emergency Care Assistant.

“Bethan was so mature that day,” he said. “It must have been quite distressing for her to see her mother that way but she was incredibly helpful. We were able to give her quicker, more appropriate treatment as a result of the information Bethan was able to give us and even when we got her inside the ambulance and she knew she was safe, she was still looking out for her mam.“

Amber added: “I’m totally grateful for everything Will and Michael did for me that day and for them to reward Bethan in this way is so kind.

“It was a horrible experience for her but it was great to be able to meet back up with them and for her to understand how well she did. We’re very proud of her.

“I hope this will help her to see just how brave she was and for her to hopefully be able to put the experience behind her.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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