Student paramedic Louis Smart (left) and paramedic Andy Wilson (right) present bravery awards to Alex, Sebastian and Monty with mum Lucy

Christmas Day heroes rewarded for their bravery

Christmas Day heroes rewarded for their bravery

A brother and sister from Sunderland who sprang into action to help their mum when she had an epileptic fit on Christmas Day have received bravery certificates from the ambulance crew who came to their aid.

Sebastian Fowler, aged 10, and his eight-year-old sister Alex leapt to the aid of their mum, Lucy Deegan, when she suffered an epileptic seizure in her bedroom at their home on Christmas Day morning.

After being unable to get hold of their dad and grandma, Alex suggested that Sebastian call 999, reaching health advisor Dawn Casey at North East Ambulance Service’s Emergency Operations Centre.

Whilst Sebastian looked after mum and answered Dawn’s questions, Alex took care of their younger brother, three-year-old Monty, and listened to what Sebastian was saying, helping to answer the questions when needed.

Dawn said: “They were both incredibly brave and grown up, giving their mam the best care by calling for an ambulance when they knew she needed help. Sebastian remained calm and collected throughout the call, despite what must have been a frightening experience for him, which meant we were able to arrange help for them quickly.”

Whilst Dawn was on the phone to Sebastian, her ambulance dispatch team colleagues arranged an immediate ambulance response for Lucy, and Ryhope crew paramedic Andy Wilson and student paramedic Louis Smart were on scene two minutes later.

Andy said: “Both bairns were great. Aware of how dangerous a seizure can be, Sebastian did really well in ringing 999 and Alex also really impressed us both – she was in tears when we got there but met us at the door and gave us a fantastic handover, explaining what had happened whilst taking us to her mam. They worked really well as a team.”

Louis added: “Fortunately Lucy had finished fitting by the time we got there; if not, it could have been a lot worse. Having such a good handover from Alex when we arrived at their house meant we knew what we were dealing with right from the outset, meaning we were able to provide the right treatment quickly.

“It just shows the importance of teaching children about what to do in an emergency.”

Andy and Louis have now returned to the home to present all three children with a bravery certificate on behalf of the ambulance service.

Lucy, who works as an operating department practitioner (ODP) alongside husband Jayson, says she has instilled the importance of calling 999 in an emergency with her children from a young age.

“They’ve seen me have a seizure before but there’s always been someone else around when it’s happened,” she said. “That morning Jayson was working and my mum was in the shower so the kids couldn’t get hold of her.

“I’ve always taught them that if they can’t get through to anybody to just phone an ambulance, but this is the first time they’ve ever been in that position.

“I remember getting up that morning and opening our presents with Jayson before he went off to work. I had a shower and got dressed and the next thing I remember is seeing my mum and immediately knowing I had had a fit.

“I’m so proud of them, they dealt with the whole situation really well.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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