Stoke Gifford girl, aged 9, praised for 999 call

Photo of Jonathan Leaton (emergency medical dispatcher) with Massa Sow and Catherine Camara.

A nine-year-old girl from Stoke Gifford has been officially commended for her “brilliant” response when her mum became seriously ill.

Catherine Camara, 30, was five months pregnant when she collapsed at home and was struggling to breathe. Massa Sow called 999 and told South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) emergency call handler Jonathan Leaton exactly what was wrong.

Massa made a special visit with her mum to the SWASFT control centre in Bradley Stoke on 17th April to be formally acknowledged for her actions.

She was presented with a certificate from SWASFT chief executive Ken Wenman.

Massa, who learned at school how to call 999, said:

“I felt scared, but I knew what I had to do. Now I am pleased mummy is better.”

Catherine said:

“I had tears in my eyes listening to the call. I am not surprised she managed to call 999, but I didn’t expect her to do so well. She was perfect.”

Emergency medical dispatcher Jonathan also praised Massa, saying:

“Massa was brilliant. She provided clear and helpful information throughout the call. She did everything I asked perfectly. It must have been traumatic for her, but she remained calm throughout.”

Catherine was 22-weeks pregnant when the incident happened on 25th March. She began to feel unwell, had severe pain, and was unable to breathe properly.

Massa dialled 999 and was able to describe in detail what was wrong with her mum. She provided updates on her mum throughout the call.

When Catherine appeared to stop breathing, Massa was told how to do chest   on her mum, which caused her to regain consciousness.

Paramedics assessed Catherine and found her condition was not life-threatening. She was taken to hospital as a precaution, and then continued her recovery at home.

SWASFT encourages parents to teach their children what to do in an emergency. That includes showing them how to call 999, making sure they know their address, and ensuring they are aware of any known health problems in the family.

Listen to a recording of Massa’s 999 call…

Photo: Jonathan Leaton (South Western Ambulance Service emergency medical dispatcher), Massa Sow and Catherine Camara.

This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 3). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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