Schoolgirl praised for actions after dad suffers stroke

A SCHOOLGIRL from Wivenhoe has been praised for her quick and responsible actions in calling the emergency services after her father suffered a stroke.

Nine-year-old Emily Berry, a pupil at Millfields Primary School in Bowes Road, dialled 999 when her dad, Jolyon, 39, started having a fit at their home on September 13.

Emily called the emergency services and was put through to call handler Elaine Butler, 36, who is based at the control centre in Chelmsford.

The responsible youngster gave clear information about what had happened while mum, Gayle, 36, looked after Mr Berry until the ambulance arrived.

“It was a bolt completely out of the blue,” said Mrs Berry. “Jolyon hadn’t shown any earlier symptoms or signs and I wondered what was wrong.

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“We were very, very lucky that we were all at home. Had it been earlier in the day when Jolyon was on his own, it would have been a different story.”

Paramedics Paul Crawford and Neil Weaver were on scene in about 10 minutes, and assessed Mr Berry for a suspected stroke. He was taken to Colchester Hospital where he remained for a week.

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Mr Berry, a solicitor, is recovering well and hopes to return to work next week. He said: “I was completely unaware of what was happening – one moment I was watching TV, the next I was talking to Paul. The crew were great; they were very cool and calm.

“I’d like to give a very big thank you to all those who were able to help and give care.

“It’s been great that the school has been involved to recognise Emily’s efforts and also ensure the other children learn some lessons about using 999 in the right circumstances.”

Emily, who has two younger brothers Xavier, 7, and Casper, 6, said: “I’m really happy that my dad is getting better now. I’d like to say a really big thank you to Elaine and the ambulance crew for all their help.”

Millfields headteacher Janet Meacock added: “I want to say how proud we all are, staff and pupils, of Emily and we’re delighted to share this with her.

“Jolyon is one our parent governors as well, so we’re very pleased to see he’s on his way to recovery.”

Emily was given her certificate during a presentation at her school in front of her parents.

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