Four-year-old Kaitlyn Wright has been commended for knowing exactly what to do in an emergency.
Her mum, Charlene, was having a fit, and she was the only person at home with her.
So Kaitlyn called 999 and gave the important details to South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) Call Handler Jess Hodkinson. During the call on 27 October, Kaitlyn was able to tell Jess precisely what was wrong with Charlene. Kaitlyn made sure that her mum was still breathing, and she stayed on the phone to Jess until help arrived.
Kaitlyn, Charlene, and dad Simon made a special visit to the SWASFT Control Centre near Bristol on Friday 30 November. Kaitlyn was presented with a certificate on behalf of SWASFT Chief Executive Ken Wenman to congratulate her for showing extraordinary bravery, presence of mind, and wisdom beyond her years.
Kaitlyn said: “I pressed 999, and said my mummy was having a fit.”
Paramedics went to the family home in Askerswell, Dorset and assessed Charlene. Thankfully Charlene stopped fitting, and she didn’t need to go to hospital.
Jess, who works in the Control Centre as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher, said the incident highlighted how vital it is for parents to teach their children what to do in an emergency. That includes showing the children how to call 999, making sure they know their address, and ensuring they are aware of any known health problems in the family.
Jess said: “Every call is different, and we are taught how to deal with child callers as part of our training. But it is unusual to receive a call from someone so young. Kaitlyn was very brave and informative. She obviously knew how to call 999; she told me exactly what was happening, and where she lives. She knew exactly what to do in an emergency.”
Charlene has fibromyalgia which means she is in constant pain and can have up to 40 seizures a week.
Charlene said: “I’m so proud of Kaitlyn. At the time I wasn’t really aware of what had happened. I woke up with the paramedics standing over me. I was so happy when I found out what she had done. We taught all our children how to make a 999 call, and what to say to the call handler. We got Kaitlyn a pretend Disney phone and practised with it. It can be scary when you’re not well. But Kaitlyn makes me feel safe. She’s a star.”
Simon added: “Kaitlyn is a grown-up little girl who knows exactly what to do in an emergency. She is brilliant.”
Charlene said the family had been “overwhelmed” by people’s interest in Kaitlyn’s call. She said they had been given cards, gifts, and kind words from many people.