Portia David, 24, from Derby couldn't be prouder of how her littl’un coped in a crisis...
It was just a normal girlie Friday night in for me and my daughter Lilly-Mae, 6, in October last year.
We were having a great time watching telly, staying up later than usual as it was the weekend.
‘I’ll get your pyjamas,’ I smiled to Lilly-Mae at 9pm, getting up to leave the room.
But, as I did, I felt an odd but familiar feeling wash over me. I was light-headed, my muscles contracted, my heart racing.
I knew exactly what was happening – I was having an epileptic fit.
I had my first seizure aged 9, and had a formal diagnosis of generalised epilepsy at 15.
My form of the condition means I don’t have a particular trigger. Anything from stress to flashing lights or temperature changes can set me off. But I never went on medication, as I very rarely had seizures.
Until June this year. Out of the blue, they’d become more regular, and more frightening.
In the past fortnight, I’d had seven seizures. My heart even stopped during one, but, luckily, I was taken to hospital in time.
And I’d always made sure Lilly-Mae knew what to do if something triggered a fit when it was just the two of us.
‘Mummy has a bad head sometimes,’ I explained. ‘If you can’t wake me up, just ring 999.’
Lilly-Mae had never seen me have a seizure before, so I had no idea whether she’d panic or remember what I told her.
Now, I hobbled back, trying to get myself onto the sofa.
‘You need to be brave,’ I recall telling her, before I collapsed to the floor, hitting my head on her toybox on the way down.
Dazed, I eventually came to, surrounded by paramedics, who were preparing to take me to Royal Derby Hospital.
‘Your daughter called us,’ one explained to me.
Through my haze, I was pleased to see my parents Trish, 46, and Paul, 52, had arrived to take Lilly-Mae with them.
At the time, she was being entertained by one of the medical team.
At hospital, I was monitored overnight and released the next day with a referral to a neurologist.
It was only then that I realised fully that Lilly-Mae had saved my life. I was told she’d rung 999 immediately and had calmly explained what’d happened.
‘My mum is not waking up,’ she told the operator. ‘She falled on the floor. She is shaking.’
She’d answered all the questions as best she could, explaining I’d fallen ‘really far because she is really big.’
Then she’d opened the door for the ambulance team, just as I’d instructed her to do when I’d first explained my condition.
‘You’ve done a smashing job,’ the operator Andrew Garven told her.
Lilly-Mae was so chuffed to see me when my parents brought her home.
Unable to thank her enough, I threw my arms around her and gave her the biggest hug.
‘Thank you so much!’ I said with pride. ‘You were so brave!’
‘I only rang 999!’ she shrugged.
She now understands my condition much better, and won’t even let me watch The X Factor because of the flashing lights!
I soon found out that the 999 operator Andrew nominated Lilly-Mae for a bravery award, which will be presented to her during a school assembly.
I couldn’t be more grateful to Lilly-Mae, my little lifesaver.