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Nine-year-old Lily takes command after mum has stroke

07 December 2012

Health Care

When mum-of-four Jenny Mitchell’s legs buckled under her and her speech came out slurred, her youngest daughter took control. Ignoring her mum’s protests, Lily, nine, grabbed her mobile phone to dial for an ambulance.

Thanks to her quick-thinking and the help of a neighbour, Jenny, 47, was rushed to Southend University Hospital in time to have life-saving clot-busting drugs and is now making a good recovery on the acute stroke unit.

Lily's dad, Alan, had already left for work leaving mum and daughter alone at home in Eastwood Road, Rayleigh when the drama unfolded.

Lily, a pupil at Wyburns primary school, Rayleigh, said: "Mum wasn't speaking properly - she could not say her words right and one side of her face was drooping."

As Jenny held on to the kitchen breakfast bar, her legs buckled beneath her and she slid to the floor. It was then that Lily took over.

Thanks to her, Jenny got to hospital within 90 minutes of her stroke - in time for the thrombolysing drugs to be effective.

Stroke consultant, Dr Devesh Sinha, said: "It was a severe stroke and Jenny has avoided death or serious disability by getting to Southend University Hospital quickly for a rapid angiogram and clot-busting drug.

"A subsequent scan has shown we were able to prevent a lot of brain damage - and it is all down to the quick thinking of her daughter Lily.

"We have continued to promote the FAST (face and arm weakness and speech difficulties) message to alert people to stroke, and it is heartening to see that a nine-year-old girl acted on this to save her mother's life."

From her hospital bed, Jenny, a professional photographer, said: "I had been suffering a lot of migraine and sinus trouble and thought it was due to that, so I did not want to make a fuss.

"I am so proud of Lily. The doctors have told me it is a miracle I am as well as I am."

A big family holiday to spend Christmas and New Year in Florida has had to be cancelled. But Lily is not at all disappointed and just looking forward to getting her mum back home.

Jenny said: "All my family and friends have been brilliant and really rallied round."

Husband, Alan, added: "The doctors and all the staff have really looked after all of us. They have been absolutely superb."