A three-year old girl from Clacton was hailed as a hero today after making a life-saving 999 call.
Sofia Harman called Essex Police after her mother, Patricia, collapsed from a heart condition while painting the kitchen of the family home in Clacton.
Patricia suffers from a rare medical condition which causes her heart rate to speed and heart pressure to plummet. She has told Sofia what to do if she ever falls ill when no one else is around.
Patricia’s partner, Sam, was out at work – but quick-thinking Sofia knew exactly what to do and pulled the phone from the charger.
During the call, Essex Police contact handler Julie Buckley kept Sofia talking about her pet dog whilst working against the clock to locate her address.
Julie began searching for her address in the force intelligence systems. Although her initial efforts were unsuccessful, she persevered and was able to track down the pair.
Police and ambulance arrived at the property just as Patricia’s partner returned home.
Patricia was taken to hospital where she received emergency treatment.
Today, Sofia was invited to the Force Control Room at Police HQ, Chelmsford where Deputy Chief Constable Matt Horne presented her with a bravery certificate and cuddly toys.
Patricia Hannington said: “I’m so proud of Sofia. We’ve had a lovely day today and it was nice to meet Julie to say thank you in person. Listening to the call, I’m amazed that she was able to keep Sofia talking for so long.
“I want to get across to other parents that it’s never too early to speak to their children about calling 999. I am lucky to have such a brave little girl who knew what to do.
Call taker Julie Buckley added: ‘Sofia is the real hero. For a child of her age, it was amazing that she knew exactly what to do. It was great meeting her and seeing just what it means to her family.”
Deputy Chief Constable Matt Horne said: “We are all very proud of Sofia and our emergency operator Julie. Sofia, having just turned 3 years old knew exactly what to do when her mum collapsed; this is because her mum took the time to explain and teach Sofia this important life skill.
“We have released the recording today because Sophia’s family want other families to know that we must start teaching our children how to call for help as early as possible. To be able to meet this very special little girl, and to see her meet with Julie, was lovely.”