Sky­lah to the res­cue

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

A brave Tawa 6-year-old may have saved her mother’s life by call­ing an am­bu­lance af­ter her mother col­lapsed on Thurs­day.

For Sky­lah John, 6, hours of watch­ing TV pro­grammes with safety themes and dis­cus­sions with her par­ents paid off af­ter her mother blacked out on the kitchen floor.

Not only did Sky­lah have to phone 111, but she then told paramedics her home ad­dress and phone num­ber. She was able to tell them where her fa­ther worked and even de­scribed the build­ing.

Mother-of-two Sharleen John said she still could not be­lieve what her daugh­ter had done for her.

‘‘All the money in the world right now couldn’t give me some­thing to re­pay her,’’ she said.

Mrs John felt very emo­tional about Thurs­day’s events.

‘‘I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. It was an amaz­ing day, just bit­ter­sweet.’’

The part- time data en­try worker and full­time mother said the irony of the sit­u­a­tion was that it was a rare day of re­lax­ation for her.

‘‘It’s like I’m be­ing pun­ished for re­lax­ing. My body de­cided to throw me that curve­ball.’’

The chest pains be­gan af­ter Mrs John had just picked up her 3-year-old son, Tre­mayne, from kinder­garten about 2.30pm.

‘‘ It felt hard to breathe. I started to feel a bit funny and my hands had tin­gling sen­sa­tions.’’

She picked up her daugh­ter from school be­fore re­turn­ing home.

Mrs John said that was when things got worse.

The last thing she re­mem­bered was putting her son into bed and tak­ing the school bags in­side.

‘‘I re­mem­ber walk­ing over to the kitchen ta­ble and that’s it.

‘‘I had no warn­ing, no in­cli­na­tion I was go­ing to pass out.’’

When she opened her eyes, a para­medic was stand­ing over her and she was ly­ing on the floor with a pound­ing headache.

‘‘I wasn’t scared for my­self; I be­came scared for the kids,’’ she said.

‘‘I was try­ing not to panic. I was try­ing to be brave.’’

When paramedics told Mrs John what her daugh­ter had done, she said she was amazed by the lit­tle girl’s brav­ery.

‘‘I had a mix­ture of emo­tions – so proud, but also so scared think­ing about what had she wit­nessed. She ac­tu­ally slept with me in bed last night, hold­ing my hand.’’

Mrs John es­ti­mated she was un­con­scious for about 15 min­utes, and wor­ried what would have hap­pened if she had been home alone or with her young son.

Mrs John had tests in Welling­ton Hospi­tal for about seven hours be­fore be­ing al­lowed to re­turn home. Doc­tors found a gall­stone they said could have caused some of the prob­lems.

Sky­lah said she was talk­ing about choco­late bars be­fore her mother col­lapsed.

‘‘ My mum couldn’t breathe well,’’ she said.

Sky­lah said she tried to be quiet be­cause she did not want to wake her brother.

The Red­wood School pupil was given an achieve­ment award in her school as­sem­bly on Fri­day morn­ing.

Mrs John said a chest pain episode last July played a part in Sky­lah know­ing what to do.

At the time, Sharleen’s hus­band, James, was home, and called an am­bu­lance while Sky­lah watched.

‘‘We started say­ing to her, ‘ If you’re sick, who do you ring?’’’

‘‘Kids are never too young to learn 111.’’

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