Skylah to the rescue
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.’’