Young brothers saved Sunderland mum who suffered epileptic fit

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Two young boys who ran for help after their mum suffered an epileptic fit at home in Roker have been rewarded for their bravery.

Redby Academy pupils Jack Burnell-Brewis, seven, and his four-year-old brother Jamie were getting ready for school when their mum Gabrielle Burnell suffered an epileptic fit and fell to the floor.

After finding her fitting, Jack took his brother’s hand, found the keys for the house and the pair ran outside for help.

A neighbour rang 999 and looked after the boys until medics arrived to treat their 31-year-old mum.

Miss Burnell was then taken to the Sunderland Royal Hospital, where she underwent an electrocardiogram test on her heart as well as x-rays and treatment for injuries to her head, neck and shoulders.

The brothers’ reactions impressed North East Ambulance Service paramedics, who presented them with an award for their bravery.

Miss Burnell, a full-time mum, said: “I’ve only recently been diagnosed with epilepsy and have had a few fits now – the boys have been fantastic.

“I’m so proud of them. The first time it happened they hadn’t even seen a seizure so for Jack to think on his toes like he does, and to make sure he doesn’t leave his brother behind, is amazing.

“The only thing I remember about this one is being in my bedroom and waking up all panicky wondering why loads of people were in my house.

“Simon was brilliant, I can’t thank him enough for recognising them both in this way.

“I’d also like to thank my lovely neighbours who came to help me. One of them even made their own bravery certificates for the boys, which was really kind of them.”

Paramedic Simon Newby was first on the scene to treat Miss Burnell on October 20, followed by colleagues David Stewart and Gary Spraggon in an ambulance.

Simon, 48, of Tunstall, was so impressed by the boys that he nominated the pair for a bravery award, which he hand-delivered to them on behalf of the ambulance service.

“They were both really brave,” said Simon, who has been a paramedic with NEAS for 20 years.

“For most kids to see their mum fitting on the floor is traumatic, but I was really impressed with the way they dealt with it.”