Demi praised for bid to save gran

THAT'S MY GIRL ... Demi Kirkwood and her mum Karen. Below, grandmother Doreen Kirkwood.
THAT'S MY GIRL ... Demi Kirkwood and her mum Karen. Below, grandmother Doreen Kirkwood.

A BRAVE youngster has been praised for making a vital emergency call after her grandmother suffered a major stroke.

Demi Kirkwood, 10, kept her cool in traumatic circumstances when her grandmother suddenly fell ill after picking her up from school.

Doreen Kirkwood

Doreen Kirkwood

Doreen Kirkwood told her granddaughter she needed to go to hospital, but Demi, a pupil at Ashley Primary School in South Shields, told her she shouldn’t drive and instead called 999.

Sadly, the 77-year-old died eight days later at South Tyneside District Hospital after suffering a massive stroke, but Demi’s mother, Karen Kirkwood, is determined that her daughter realise that she couldn’t have done anything more to help.

And the youngster is to be given an accolade by ambulance chiefs in recognition of her efforts to save her gran’s life.

Miss Kirkwood, 52, of Beacon Glade, South Shields, said; “My mother had picked Demi up and brought her home. Her mouth drooped to one side and she said ‘I think I will have to go to the hospital.’

“Demi told her she should’t go herself as she might crash the car and rang 999.

“I got home at 5pm, and a neighbour told me my mum had been taken away in an ambulance.”

Doreen went into a coma after being taken to the South Shields hospital on March 20 and died there eight days later.

Miss Kirkwood added: “Demi stayed so calm. The paramedics told me she was marvellous. She kept her calm far better than I would have done.

“We are such a close family, and Demi and her grandmother had such a close bond.

“Demi hasn’t liked talking about it. It is still very raw. But she asked me ‘did I do the right thing?’ when she called 999. I told her she did, but I think she thought that was just her mum being nice.

“For the ambulance service to give her a certificate shows how well she did. She is very happy to be getting the certificate from them.”

A North East Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Demi most definitely did the right thing. To have the presence of mind at just 10 years old to pick up the phone and dial 999, and answer all of the call-handler’s questions at such a difficult time, takes some doing.

“The ambulance crew arrived at the scene three minutes after the call, and did what they could before taking Demi’s gran to hospital.

“We’re sorry to hear that she sadly passed away later, and our deepest condolences go out to the family.

“The ambulance crew and call-handler who spoke to Demi were very impressed by the way she helped her gran, and her actions are a great example to other kids, and parents too.

“Teaching children from a young age to call 999 in an emergency could save someone’s life.

“We are hoping to present Demi with a certificate of commendation this week.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris