Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

Five-year-old recognised for bravery after saving mum in 999 call

Five-year-old calls 999 after her mum collapsed at home

A five-year-old girl has been honoured for her bravery after she called 999 when she found her mum unconscious on the ground. Last June Zaynab Qasim came home from school in east London to find her mum, Samina, lying on the ground.

Her quick-thinking and bravery in swiftly finding her mum’s phone and calling the emergency services has now been celebrated with a certificate as Zaynab met the call handler on the other end.

In a recording of the 999 call, London Ambulance call handler Natasha White asked: “Is she awake?”, and Zaynab responded “no”.

When Ms White then asked: “Is she breathing?,” Zaynab replied: “No.”

The brave five-year-old was then able to give the call handler her full address, and even confirmed she lived near a fire station.

Ms White reassured Zaynab, saying: “I can see where you are. Help is on its way. Just stay on the line.”

An ambulance crew soon arrived to help Ms Iqbal. They discovered she had suffered such a debilitating migraine that she had collapsed.

Ms Iqbal said: “I’m so proud of Zaynab. She literally helped me in such a stressful situation while staying so calm.

“I’m so impressed she knew our address by heart.

“We actually never taught her to call 999, but because of an incident that happened to a close family member in the past, Zaynab has always known that in the event of a medical emergency, you should call an ambulance.

“I now think all parents should teach their children how to make emergency phone calls.”

Zaynab was invited with her mother and father, Mohammed, to the London Ambulance headquarters in Waterloo. 

There she received a certificate honouring her bravery from chief medical officer Dr Fenella Wrigley, director of 999 operations Stuart Crichton, and Natasha White – the handler who had picked up her distress call.

Ms White said: “Zaynab did so brilliantly on the call. She managed to stay calm and was able to give me her full address and landmarks which made it easy for the ambulance crew to reach her mum.

“I loved meeting her – call handlers rarely get to meet callers or the patients we help. And this was a very special caller.”

Mr Crichton said: “Zaynab is a very clever girl and a credit to her parents. Teaching your child how to call 999 in an emergency could save your life.

“You don’t need to unlock a phone to make a 999 call but it is important that children know their full address and how to open the front door in an emergency.”

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