A NEAS paramedic has been thanked by the family of a four-year-old girl struck by meningitis after his quick-thinking actions saved her life.
John Morris, of Chester-le-Street, who has 25 years’ experience as a paramedic, responded to an emergency call at Lily Chadwick’s home in March.
On arrival, John’s immediately recognised that time was of the essence and he administered a life-saving injection.
John was later told that had Lily not received the time-critical injection until she arrived at hospital she would in all probability have died, or at the very least, lost limbs.
Instead, she was back at nursery just over a week later, having made a full recovery.
Mum Kimberley, 28, dad Michael, 29, and seven-year-old brother Kian, invited John back to their home to thank him for saving Lily’s life.
“I can’t thank John enough for what he did,” Kimberley said. “I can’t let myself think what could have happened, I have to stop myself and focus on other things. My daughter is alive because of John.”
Lily’s symptoms started with leg pain and tiredness, followed by a temperature, a sore head and sickness.
Kimberley gave her daughter Calpol to get her temperature down and prepared to take Lily to hospital first thing - but on spotting purple spots on her daughter’s neck, she immediately rang for an ambulance.
John, 61, said: “When I got here Lily didn’t have a temperature because she had been given Calpol, but she had other signs that made me suspect she might have meningitis. She had some pinprick marks and few blotches on her tummy.
“She had a history of stiffness and she didn’t like the light on and she had previously had a high temperature.
“I put her into the vehicle and I administered Benzylpenicillin, because the sooner you do the more effective it is.”
John was later called into the office of the paediatric consultant who treated Lily.
“He told me ‘you have certainly saved her life at worst, and definitely her limbs’,” John said. “I was absolutely shocked at that, I’ve got grandchildren myself.
“The consultant said that if I had waited until she got to the hospital it would have been too late. You don’t want to stick needles in children unnecessarily, but it was my gut-reaction at the time.”
Picture: Lily Chadwick is pictured with John Morris. Pic courtesy of the Sunderland Echo.