Lifesaving team effort of Sunderland brother and sister praised after 999 call following mother's fit

A brother and sister who sprang into action to save their mum after she had an epileptic fit on Christmas Day have been praised by the paramedics who came to their rescue.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 4:21 pm
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 6:24 pm

Sebastian Fowler, 10, and sister Alex, eight, rushed to help Lucy Deegan when she suffered an epileptic seizure at their home.

After they could not get hold of their dad Jayson and grandma, Alex suggested Sebastian call 999, reaching health advisor Dawn Casey at North East Ambulance Service’s Emergency Operations Centre.

As Sebastian looked after mum and answered Dawn’s questions, Alex took care of their brother, three-year-old Monty, and listened to what Sebastian was saying and helped to answer the questions.

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Sebastian and Alex Fowler called 999 when their mum Lucy Deegan had a fit on Christmas Day.

Lucy, who works as an operating department practitioner (ODP) as does Jayson, said she had instilled the importance of calling 999 in an emergency with her children from a young age.

“They’ve seen me have a seizure before but there’s always been someone else around when it’s happened,” she said.

“That morning Jayson was working and my mum was in the shower so the kids couldn’t get hold of her.

“I’ve always taught them that if they can’t get through to anybody to just phone an ambulance, but this is the first time they’ve ever been in that position.

Student paramedic Louis Smart, left, and paramedic Andy Wilson, right, with Alex Fowler, Jayson Deegan, Sebastian Fowler, Lucy Deegan and Monty Deegan.

“I remember getting up that morning and opening our presents with Jayson before he went off to work.

“I had a shower and got dressed and the next thing I remember is seeing my mum and immediately knowing I had had a fit.

“I’m so proud of them, they dealt with the whole situation really well.”

Dawn said the children had been “incredibly brave” and added: “Sebastian remained calm and collected throughout the call, despite what must have been a frightening experience for him, which meant we were able to arrange help for them quickly.”

Sebastian Fowler high fives NEAS paramedic Andy Wilson as he congratulates him for his calm actions following his mother's fit.

While Dawn was on the phone to Sebastian, her ambulance dispatch team colleagues arranged an ambulance, and Ryhope crew paramedic Andy Wilson, 43, and student paramedic Louis Smart, 25, were on scene two minutes later.

The medics have now returned to the family home to present all three youngsters with a bravery certificate on behalf of the ambulance service.

Andy said: “Both bairns were great.

“Aware of how dangerous a seizure can be, Sebastian did really well in ringing 999 and Alex also really impressed us both – she was in tears when we got there but met us at the door and gave us a fantastic handover, explaining what had happened whilst taking us to her mam.

Student paramedic Louis Smart, left, and paramedic Andy Wilson, right, present bravery awards to Alex, Sebastian and Monty with mum Lucy.

“They worked really well as a team.”

Louis added: “Fortunately Lucy had finished fitting by the time we got there; if not, it could have been a lot worse.

“Having such a good handover from Alex when we arrived at their house meant we knew what we were dealing with right from the outset, meaning we were able to provide the right treatment quickly.

“It just shows the importance of teaching children about what to do in an emergency.”

Sebastian Fowler with NEAS paramedic Andy Wilson, left, and student paramedic Louis Smart, right.
NEAS paramedic Andy Wilson, left, and student paramedic Louis Smart, back, with Sebastian and Alex Fowler and their younger brother Monty Deegan.