Emily Morrison with mum Louise, call operator Kerri Corbett, paramedic Mark Jackson and emergency care assistant Nicola Johnson

Ambulance crew praise four year old for saving her mum’s life

Brave Emily receives bravery award

A North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) call operator and ambulance crew have praised a four-year-old after her quick actions when her mum collapsed with an epileptic fit.

Emily Morrison quickly took action when mum Louise Rush collapsed in the living room at their home in Silksworth, Sunderland, calling her dad Stephen, who was at work in Newcastle.

After speaking to Stephen, NEAS call operator Kerri Corbett was able to get in touch with Emily, who told her that her mum was poorly and wasn’t moving.

Kerri, who has been a call operator at NEAS for six years, said: “When I spoke to Emily she was really calm and answered all of my questions about the condition of her mum.

“She told me that her mummy had fallen and I asked her if she was able to unlock the door. She said she was able to get her stool from the bathroom to reach the door and she knew where the keys were. I stayed on the phone to Emily until the ambulance crew arrived and I kept thinking about the call for the rest of the week, wondering how her mum was doing.

“It is definitely more challenging taking 999 calls from children as we have to change the way we ask questions so they can understand what we’re asking whilst also getting the information we need.

“It can be hard to get an overview of what is going on when we’re not there to see it ourselves and Emily told me her younger brother and sister were in the house so I had to make sure they were all okay whilst also checking on her mum’s condition but Emily was great all the way through. She was so incredibly brave on the phone, and for someone so young I was really impressed with how well she managed the whole situation.”

Paramedic Mark Jackson and emergency care assistant Nicola Johnson arrived on scene within minutes to find Louise lying on the living room floor. On arrival, Emily told them her mum had fallen and she would look after her younger brother, Charlie, and sister, Rosa, whilst they looked after her mum.

Mark, who has been a paramedic for four years, said: “When we arrived we were greeted by Emily who told us her mum had fallen down. She looked really pleased to see us and Nicola and I gave her a lot of praise and reassurance about how well she had done.

“I’ve been looking forward to meeting Louise again and seeing her doing much better than she was the last time we saw her and it’s great to recognise Emily’s bravery award for her actions that day.

“She is an incredibly bright, brave little girl and for being so young she showed exceptional bravery, not only caring for her mum but for looking after her younger siblings. She deserves plenty of praise and we are all very proud of her.”

Child protection worker Louise returned home after six days in hospital and has since been diagnosed with epilepsy following tests at hospital.

Louise, aged 26, said: “I am so proud of Emily and how well she did that day. She knew exactly what to do and did everything the call handler asked her to do on the phone. I suffer from endometriosis and have a duplex kidney and have been ill with it in the past so she knows what to do in an emergency, but she totally exceeded our expectations this time.

“For her to look after her brother and sister whilst doing everything she could to help me at the same time makes me and her dad really proud, she is our little hero.”

Emergency care assistant Nicola Johnson said: “Emily is such a brave little girl and a credit to her family. She was in a very scary situation but dealt with it so well, I’m glad to be able to recognise her bravery and give her the praise she entirely deserves.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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