Quick-thinking kids praised for response to father’s epilepsy

When Marvin Dyke fell into a serious seizure whilst he was looking after his children alone at home, most children would panic. However, Benjamin, 8, and his sister Alessia, 6, knew exactly what to do after their father started seizing and their perfect response could have helped saved Marvin’s life.


Their mum Paulette was out at the time the seizure happened but she had told her children precisely what to do should the seizure go on for more than five minutes. Doing exactly as his mother had taught him, Benjamin ran upstairs to get his iPod, and started the 5-minute timer. Then he ran next door to get his neighbour to dial 999, making sure Alessia was sitting with their dad, and the door was propped open with a toy.

When the ambulance arrives, Marvin had started to come out of his fit, and fortunately did not require hospital treatment after being checked over by paramedics at the scene. Both children received proud praise from not only their parents, but the emergency response crew and the control room staff who took the call.

Clinical supervisor Jacquie Harley said: “We get a lot of calls from family members who have relatives with diabetes or epilepsy and they have no idea what to do in an emergency so it was wonderful to see how calm they were and how well they coped with the situation. It’s so important people who have known medical conditions talk to their children and relatives so they understand how to help and what to do.”

Emergency Medical Advisor Georgia Beesley, who took the 999 call, also told the neighbour who called just how well the youngsters had performed in the situation.

The pair were given a certificate rewarding their efforts, and were also invited for the chance to look in an ambulance, meet the crew and enjoy a tour of the control room where they saw just what happens when the ambulance team respond to emergency 999 calls.

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