By Jean Kennedy
A nine-year-old Sydney girl who dealt with a triple-0 operator to help her pregnant mother through a terrifying medical emergency says she cannot believe she has been honoured with a bravery award.
Madison Dunsdon called an ambulance as her mother drifted in and out of consciousness after collapsing in the bathroom of her South Penrith home, in Sydney’s west, in October.
Madison was awarded a NSW Ambulance Citation for Courage for her efforts providing information about her mother’s condition and following the operator’s instructions about how to help.
She said she kept telling herself to stay calm during the emergency, despite being frightened at how badly her mother was bleeding.
“There was a lot of bleeding and a lot of vomiting and so I went into her room because I didn’t want to see it, and talked to the ambulance people there,” she said.
“They told me to put some towels under her head and between her legs.
“I said to myself: ‘I have to stay calm, just be calm Madison, you don’t need to worry, the ambulance people will deal with it’.”
Madison said she followed the advice of the triple-0 operator, bringing towels to her mother and finding her pregnancy medical records in a bedroom drawer to give to the paramedics when they arrived.
“The person I called said ‘just open the front door and wave to the ambulance when they come to our house’, and I just asked mum if I’m allowed to go out the front and then she just put a thumbs up so that means I can go out the front and wave.”
Soon after, Madison’s mother Kylie Row gave birth to her son, Harley, 11 weeks early.
He was placed in intensive care in Sydney’s Nepean Hospital, but just last week his family was able to take him home.
Ms Row said that when she collapsed bleeding on the bathroom floor at 29 weeks pregnant, she called out to her daughter to phone for help.
"The bleeding was so heavy it was like turning on a tap," she said.
"It was actually quite scary and I said 'don't panic, don't panic, you've just got to call an ambulance' and she said 'all right mum, I'll call 911'. I said 'nope, that's America, we're Australia, we call triple-0'.
"She grabbed my mobile and called triple-0 then handed the phone over to me and I was able to give the address, but after that I started passing out, so she took over the call."
Ms Row said Madison shed a few tears in the midst of the drama, but remained calm overall and did what was asked of her.