Autistic Girl Saves Granddad

An eight-year-old Sussex girl has been recognised by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) for her brave actions in raising the alarm for her great-grandfather when he had collapsed at his home in Bexhill, East Sussex.

On walking into the house, Maia Bryant, a Glenleigh Park Academy pupil, who has autism, immediately alerted her family when she found her great-grandfather, Leo Turtle, (87) slumped on the floor and barely conscious after he had suffered a stroke on 21 May 2016.


SECAmb ambulance technician Kate Sayers was first on scene followed by an ambulance crew with paramedic Phil Ibrahim and emergency care support worker Coral Martin who took Leo to Eastbourne District General Hospital for emergency treatment.


Maia’s grandfather Tony said: “Those who know Maia will know it can be difficult for her to follow instructions due to her autism but she did everything that was asked of her by myself and the paramedics. She was just such a great help to all of us.”


Maia and her family paid a surprise visit to Hastings Make Ready Centre on Thursday 4 August when she was shown around the ambulance station while paramedic Phil Ibrahim explained all the emergency equipment inside an ambulance and instructed her how to immobilise a broken arm. He then presented Maia with a Chief Executive Commendation certificate for her quick thinking in sensing something was wrong and for her helpful actions once paramedics were on scene.


Phil said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to recognise Maia’s help on that day. It can’t have been easy for her to handle such a distressing situation but she did extremely well and her great grandfather and all her family can be very proud of her.” 


Grandfather Tony added: “We all had a lovely time at the station and I would like to thank Phil, Coral and Kate who came so quickly to help my dad. He is still in hospital but recovering well and he hopes to be able to come home soon. I just want to say thank you to all of your staff on the road and to those working hard in the background as you do such a wonderful and difficult job day in day out.”


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