Brave Bexhill girl awarded for saving her great-grandfather

Eight-year-old Maia Bryant with paramedic Phil Ibrahim and her award after helping save her great-grandfather. Photo by SECAmb SUS-161208-102500001
Eight-year-old Maia Bryant with paramedic Phil Ibrahim and her award after helping save her great-grandfather. Photo by SECAmb SUS-161208-102500001

An eight-year-old girl has been recognised for her brave actions in helping save her great-grandfather’s life when he collapsed at his Bexhill home.

Maia Bryant alerted her family when she found 87-year-old Leo Turtle after he had suffered a stroke on May 21 – he is still in hospital but is on the mend.

Phil showing Maia how to immobilise a broken arm. Photo by SECAmb SUS-161208-102434001

Phil showing Maia how to immobilise a broken arm. Photo by SECAmb SUS-161208-102434001

The Granleigh Park student, who has autism, was given an award by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) during a visit to its Hastings headquarters on Thursday, August 4.

Maia’s grandfather Tony Turtle 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.”

On walking into the house, Maia immediately told her family when she found Leo slumped on the floor and barely conscious as he had suffered a stroke.

SECAmb 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 and her family paid a surprise visit to Hastings Make Ready Centre where she was shown around the ambulance station while Phil explained all the emergency equipment inside an ambulance and showed her how to immobilise a broken arm.

The paramedic then presented the schoolgirl 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.

“I’m really pleased that we have been able to recognise Maia’s help on that day,” Phil said.

“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 said his father Leo is still in hospital after the stroke in May but he is ‘recovering well’.

“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 said.

“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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