5 year old who saved Mum after life-threatening fall shortlisted for award
A Birmingham school girl who saved her mother's
life has been nominated for an award at this year's West Midlands
Outstanding Citizens' Awards.
Until now the story of Marleigh Sparey-Knibbs has
been known only to friends and family.
On 28th July 2015, only days after Marleigh's 5th
Birthday, her mother Dannielle collapsed following a sharp fall in
her blood-sugar levels. She sustained head injuries resulting from
the fall knocking her unconscious.
Witnessing the incident Marleigh, then 5 (she is
now 7 years old), found her mother's mobile phone, unlocked it and
called 999. She told the emergency services operator that her mum
had fallen and remained unconscious. On being told to open the door
to emergency service, Marleigh told the operator that she was 'not
to open the door to strangers' but, persuaded by the operator,
allowed the ambulance crew to enter the house to assist her
Dannielle Knibbs of Sutton Coldfield, on learning
that her daughter had been shortlisted for the award of Outstanding
Young Citizen, said:
"I nominated Marleigh because if she hadn't taken
the action she did in calling an ambulance for me, even though she
was very scared, then I could have been in a critical condition and
suffered serious long-term damage. I am very proud that she knew
what to do and tried to save her Mommy's life."
This is how Marleigh recalls the incident:
"Mommy told me that she felt very poorly when we were brushing our
teeth upstairs, we went downstairs and she did my hair and we put
our coats on. Then mommy stood still like a robot at the bottom of
the stairs and said "Marleigh I feel really..." and dropped on the
floor before she finished but banged her head really hard on the
wood on the side of the stairs. I thought Mommy was joking but she
wouldn't wake up. I sat with her for a little bit trying to talk to
her but she wasn't answering me, then I remembered that if people
get hurt then an ambulance can help them so I went to find mommy's
phone and phoned 999.
"I told the lady on the phone " Mommy is on the
floor and she won't wake up". The lady asked me what my address is
and I told her the name of our road but I didn't know the postcode
so she told me to find a letter with it on but now I know the
postcode. They told me to touch Mommy and try to see if she moved
and check that she is breathing. Then she told me an ambulance lady
was coming and I needed to let her in but I told her that I'm not
allowed to open the door to strangers but the lady said that it was
really important I let her in so that she could make my mommy
better. I let the lady in and I asked her if mommy will be ok and
she said yes, they put lots of sticky stuff and tests and things on
Mommy and when she woke up she wouldn't stop shaking and I saw she
had a big bruise on her head and it was bleeding as well and there
was a cut on her hand that was bleeding and then more ambulance
people came in. The big ambulance took Mommy away on a bed. I got
really upset and cried because I was worried but now I am happy
that my mommy is ok."
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime
"The West Midlands Outstanding Young Citizen Award
is our chance to recognise young people like Marleigh who have
shown courage and maturity beyond their years. She responded with
such composure and to think she was only 5 years old when the
incident happened. It's really quite remarkable."
The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday
July 6th, 2017 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. There are
six categories being recognised for awards: Outstanding Citizen,
Outstanding Community Project, Outstanding Young Citizen,
Outstanding Act of Good Citizenship, Active Citizens' Fund Project
and Special Recognition Award.