Brave five-year-old recognised for helping his poorly mam

Just days before Christmas a five-year-old called 999 when his mam was suffering a severe chest infection.

When Kirsty Foster, from Shiremoor, began to feel increasingly unwell due to a chest infection last December, she told her son James Eggo to phone 999 if ‘mammy fell over’.

But after James noticed Kirsty’s lips and tongue going blue, he jumped into action and called for an ambulance.

Kirsty said: “That day I didn’t feel right at all, and I was really weak. My stepdad was on his way to look after the children and I said to James ‘If mammy falls down, ring 999 for help’.

“He sprang into action quite quickly. He told me my tongue and lips were turning blue, but I couldn’t speak to guide him through what to do.”

Heath advisor Andrew Broadbent answered the call and was able to guide James through a series of questions to find out what had happened, and also asked if he could get a neighbour so an adult could be with him and his then 10-month-old sister Chloe.

And this week, Andrew met James, Kirsty, Chloe and their dad, Richard. Andrew also presented James with a certificate for his brave actions after calling us on 22 December last year.

Andrew said: “When I answered the call from James, I heard this soft, sweet little voice. But he was so calm.

“He answered all of my questions and understood what he needed to do when I asked if he could go to his next door neighbour for an adult. Some young children wouldn’t have the intuition to do that. He did a fantastic job.”

Kirsty added: “James did so well. He brought me a glass of water and said ‘it’s going to be ok mam. They won’t be long’.”

Richard, who was at work at the time, said: “James got an extra present from Santa for what he did that day.”

Luckily for Kirsty, she was able to be treated a home by our crew and she was feeling better in time for Christmas.

Andrew, who has worked at NEAS for 18 months said: “It’s important to teach your children what 999 is for, for them to listen carefully to the health advisor, and answer the questions they’re asked as best they can.”

Resources for teaching children how and when to use our services can be found on our website: /get-involved/learning-zone.aspx.

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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