A FIVE YEAR old Killaloe boy has been awarded for his quick thinking as he helped his mother by promptly contacting emergency services when she lost consciousness.
By Adam Maloney
Ben Holland has been awarded a bravery medal from the National Ambulance Service for his actions in saving his mother, Jennie Kiely last month.
Last October, Jennie was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Getting the diagnosis took years and finally arose after she collapsed in work and an ambulance was called for her.
She told The Clare Echo, “When I got to the hospital, they took my blood pressure and my heart rate, they had me stand up, have me lie down, stand on one foot, all these all these mad tests. Every time my position changed, my blood pressure would drop, but my heart rate would go through the roof and that was causing me to faint because the blood wasn’t circulating around my body properly. So that’s how they figured it out”.
Kiely suffers from the diagnosis on a regular basis in which a faint that arose last month was noticed by Ben to be a more serious occurrence than usual. “I suffer symptomatically every day, I don’t faint every day, sometimes I’m able to lower myself down. But I feel the effects of it daily. I faint maybe every two weeks but because it is a hormonal thing, there is times in the month where it is more often”.
She recalled, “It was a Saturday evening. I had been feeling very off that day. When I took my blood pressure in the morning it was quite low, and everything that I tried to do to bring it up wasn’t working. I just felt horrendous. So, I said, ‘Ben let’s have a lazy day’ and we’ll stay on the couch and watch movies. I started to feel much better after resting and at 8pm I said to him, ‘we better start getting ready for bed’ and when I stood up to go, I lost consciousness and I hit the floor”.
“Ben tried to wake me up, and when I wasn’t waking, he grabbed my phone and we previously showed him how to do an emergency call because back in June I ended up in resus and my heartrate was so high that they were worried that I was going to have a cardiac arrest. So, it scared me, so that’s why we’ve shown him how to do the emergency call, but I didn’t think he’d have to, especially so soon”.
A senior infant pupil in St. Michael’s Infant School in Limerick, Ben contacted emergency services and told them, “if they called Charlie Chaplin’s pub in Limerick and ask for Joe, they’d get his daddy”, as he did not know his father’s number when asked, Jennie said. “They asked him would he go next door to the neighbour and ask for help, and he said, ‘I’m not allowed outside when it’s dark because I’m only a small child”.
“They asked if this happened before and he said ‘yeah, she faints all the time, she has very low blood pressure and she has POTS’. So, they knew what they were coming to. I had been unconscious for nearly ten minutes. When they got there, Ben let them into the house and explained what happened, and they started to do an ECG on me to check my heart and blood pressure, so I was still on the floor in the same position, I hadn’t moved”.
On her current condition, Jennie said, “It’s kind of manageable now, I’m getting used to it and learning what triggers they send and what helps it, but it’s awful. I feel it every day, there’s at least one point every day where I see black stars, get lightheaded or feel a bit wobbly. It was really scary for him because I wasn’t waking up, usually when I faint, I come around quite quick after it, but I was out cold, he thought I was dead”