EMS honours boy, 6, for quick action after mother collapses

December 11, 2017

EDMONTON — Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services (AHS EMS) officials are commending a six-year-old boy for knowing what to do when his mother collapsed in their Edmonton home earlier this year.

On May 10, Ronan Male spoke with a 911 emergency communications officer and provided emergency responders with the information they needed after his mother Denise, who has diabetes, woke with low blood sugar and fell out of bed.

Ronan aided his mother and squirted a juice box into her mouth to try to raise her blood sugar. Denise dialed 911 and Ronan provided information, first to the emergency communications officer and later to the paramedics while they treated Denise. Denise and Ronan were the only people at home at the time; Ronan’s father, Doug, was working out of town.

“This young man’s actions demonstrate what a child is capable of, even in an emergency,” says Alex Campbell, EMS Public Education Officer. “We are thankful this story had a positive outcome and I am proud of Ronan, as I am sure his parents are. Denise needed emergency care as fast as possible and she received it thanks to Ronan’s actions.”

Ronan’s parents had taught him what to do when his mom had low blood sugar and was ‘acting funny.’

“When I went to bed the night before, I did everything like usual – had a snack and checked my sugars,” says Denise, 48. “The next thing I know, paramedics are in my living room.”

Ronan stayed on the phone with 911 until the ambulance arrived.

“He saved my life and I feel very lucky,” says Denise. “When Ronan was about three-and-a-half, we started teaching him what to do in an emergency and he has watched his dad help me when my sugars were low. We didn’t want to scare him but wanted him to understand what was going on and how he could help.”

Today, EMS presents Ronan with a Lifesaving Award during an assembly at St. Angela Catholic School where he is in Grade 1.

“Ronan’s actions are a shining example of what to do in an emergency. Ronan saved his mom’s life and I’m thrilled to recognize his bravery. I also wish to commend the team of emergency responders who helped this little boy remain calm in a very scary situation,” says Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne.

EMS says families and schools can deliver simple messages to children about 911:

  • Call the number as quickly as possible in an emergency.
  • Know your address and phone number.
  • Stay on the phone until an emergency communications officer says to hang up.
  • Realize 911 is not a toy.

“We are all really impressed with how brave Ronan was,” says Monica Grela, the emergency communications officer who responded to the 911 call. “He was incredibly calm and helpful. He knew exactly how to react to an emergency.

“This is something we think all families should talk about,” adds Grela, “and I hope Ronan’s example inspires other people to talk to their kids about what to do in an emergency.”

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Shelly Willsey
AHS Communications