A four year old boy has been hailed a hero after saving his mum’s life.
Kadell Anderson-Brown from Kirkstall sprang into action when his mum, Mawena Brown, had a suspected heart attack last Thursday.
Quick-thinking Kadell managed to give his full address and phone number to the 999 call handler when Mawena collapsed with chest pains and shortness of breath.
The incident caused damage to her heart, but medics admit that were it not for her son’s amazing actions, she may not have made it.
Mawena suffers from a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that affects the heart and can result in sudden death.
Kadell’s gran, Beverley Thornton, 54, said: “He is such a hero and so brave, I think he deserves an award.
“It was a close call, she could have died. We are blessed that Kadell was able to call the ambulance. I think he is an inspiration for people and I am glad that it has all resulted in a positive outcome.”
Mawena explained that when she was first diagnosed with the condition, she taught Kadell how to call the emergency services, in case she fell severely ill while they were in the house. It was a decision, that ultimately helped to save her life.
Mawena explained: “I am very proud of him. I was unable to speak to the ambulance and explain what was wrong but I heard him talking to them on the phone and I heard him give my full address and phone number.
“He was very worried, he kept crying and saying ‘please don’t die mummy’. It makes me cry every time I think about it. At the time he was so worried, it was scary to see him like that.
“At first he kept telling me to phone the ambulance, before speaking to them himself when he realised I couldn’t call them.
“He said ‘It’s alright mummy, I only wanted to make you better’. When I came out of hospital and said I was worried about stomach pains he said ‘Oh you should have stayed in hospital mummy’.”
“He’s the kind of kid that you can have a full on conversation with, he’s been like that since he was two. He’s very clever.”
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affects the muscular walls of the heart and prevents it from pumping blood around the body properly.
Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeats. It can strike at any age, and is commonly seen in babies, although it can appear suddenly later on in life.
When left undiagnosed, the condition can be fatal.
Around one in 500 of the UK population has the condition, although most people who have it have few symptoms.
Robert Hall, medical director at Cardimyopathy UK, a charity that supports people with the condition said that more needs to be done to raise awareness about the condition, both among the public and the medical community.
He said: “People also need to understand that if treated properly, these conditions do respond well and people can live effective lives with these conditions. If cardiomyopathy is in the family then taking sensible precautions such as teaching people how to respond in an emergency are good, but it is more about getting the right treatment at the right time. I am really pleased that Mawena came out of this well and it is fantastic that her little boy responded in the way that he did.”
Mawena who is due to get a defibrillator fitted next week, encouraged others with the condition to ensure that their loved ones know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Carrie Whitham, a spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, agreed. She said: “Kadell did a fantastic job in helping his Mum and is to be commended for staying calm and doing all the right things when faced with this very daunting situation. For someone so young, he should be congratulated on knowing his address and telephone contact number off by heart and this is something that we recommend all parents teach their children for use in emergency situations such as this. We wish Mawena well in her recovery, she should be very proud of her young son.”
Dr Mike Blackburn, consultant paediatric Cardiologist, at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, agreed.
He said: “If a parent knows they have a serious medical condition it is important to explain to their children what might happen and what to do in an emergency.”