Bravery award for autistic boy over 999 call after mother taken ill
A five-year-old boy with autism dialled 999 and guided paramedics to his home after his mother fell unconscious while unpacking shopping.
Charley-Anne Semple, 27, has praised the actions of her son, Tyler, and he has been presented with a bravery award by the National Autistic Society.
Tyler’s three-year-old sister, Annabella, who also has autism and was home at the time, was also given an award.
Mrs Semple said she was at home with her two children when she collapsed on September 21.
“I was home just putting some shopping away, which was the last thing I remember,” she said. “What I’ve been able to piece together and have been told by the paramedics is I was lying on the floor unconscious.
“Tyler took my phone. He knows the pin code, he’s very clever with technology.
“He called 999. He was on the phone for a good 10 minutes, which is extremely difficult and quite surprising for Tyler as he doesn’t hold conversation very well.
“He has speech therapy. He’s verbal but keeping interest in conversation, staying on topic is difficult.
“He told them he needed an ambulance and he recited our address.
“We’ve only lived here four months. He was giving them the phonetic postcode - Romeo, Mike...
“He was also giving her directions.”
She said the call handler asked Tyler for information but that he struggles to answer direct questions.
“He said ‘She’s dead’,” Mrs Semple said. “He told her I had eaten a poisoned apple from an ugly old witch.
“We haven’t watched Snow White recently and I haven’t been eating apples so I don’t know where that came from.
“It must have sounded like a hoax call.”
She said Tyler went with his sister to fetch a neighbour and that paramedics, whom she described as “fantastic”, arrived and treated her.
Her collapse was the result of a pre-existing medical condition, she said, adding that she had fainted before but not recently.
She said Tyler and Annabella were “so happy with their awards” and that by dialling 999 Tyler proved to her that “he’s more capable than people give credit for”.
“I think what’s nice and what I’m really trying to push is to celebrate how fantastic I think the children did on the day and to raise autism in a positive light,” she said. “It’s nice to celebrate them.”
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Although only being five years old, Tyler knew exactly what to do when he found his mother unconscious.
“He called 999, gave his address and followed our instructions, getting help from a neighbour until we could arrive.
“He was also was very brave and stayed calm in what must have been a very frightening situation for him.”