Many children have been taught to call an emergency phone number when the unexpected strikes.
But 7-year-old Adam Smith of Sunderland in northeast England showed a maturity well beyond his years in doing so much more when his grandfather, 76-year-old Bob Donkin, suffered a heart attack on Jan. 2.
Adam’s parents were out for the evening and left him and his sister in their grandfather’s care. But when Donkin went to the kitchen, suffering from chest pains, young Adam sprang into action.
First, Adam and Amy helped their grandfather back into the living room, where he could lie down. Then Adam called 999, England’s equivalent of 911 in the U.S.
But he didn’t stop there.
Anticipating the arrival of paramedics, Adam fetched his grandfather’s medication and placed it beside the elderly man. Then he fetched the family’s dog and locked up the animal, so it wouldn’t interfere when help arrived. The home prepared for quick action, he then comforted and cared for his little sister.
The young man’s quick and efficient thinking has been since been credited with saving his grandfather’s life.
“Given their ages, Adam and Amy did remarkably well to keep such cool heads,” a spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service told the Echo. “Being with someone who is suffering a suspected heart attack can be a very traumatic and distressing experience – so to have the presence of mind to make the 999 call, which probably saved their granddad’s life, is something that deserves public recognition.
“The paramedic who attended has asked us to pass on her thanks to Adam,” the spokeswoman continued. “These actions were a great help to the paramedic, and as a result, we will be awarding Adam and Amy with official North East Ambulance Service Certificates of Merit.”
“He saved my dad’s life, without a doubt,” testified Adam’s mother, Andrea. “I’m so immensely proud of Adam. You can’t put it into words. My dad wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t done what he did.”
The Echo reports Donkin was operated on at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and is recovering at home.