CHICAGO (CBS) — A 7-year-old boy was being credited with saving his police officer mother’s life, after she suffered a stroke at home two months ago.
Sherece Holland, 55, was helping her son, Romeo, brush his teeth on the morning of Dec. 21, when she began feeling wobbly.
“I could hear everything, but I just couldn’t speak,” she said.
Luckily for Holland, the Chicago Lawn District officer had taught her son a valuable skill – how to call for help in an emergency.
“My mom was kind of ill, and I said ‘If I’m ever at home, this is what you do.’ So I taught him to use the burglar alarm panel to call for 911,” she said. “
The 2nd grader not only called 911, he said things to ease his grandmother’s mind as she was crying about Holland’s condition, such as, “She’s going to be fine.”
“They told me it could have been deadly, so I’m proud of Romeo,” Holland said.
Dr. Scott Geraghty, interventional neuroradiologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center, said Romeo’s actions were amazing.
“He had heard enough to know mom’s in trouble, I need to do something,” he said.
Geraghty said Romeo saved his mother’s life.
“This was the kind of stroke that, if you don’t get help, up to half the people may not even survive,” he said. “Being aware his mom needed help got her in in time that we were able to help her. So, certainly, had he ignored what was going on, it would have been too late.”
Holland had suffered a blood clot, which blocked an artery supplying blood to the left side of her brain, and she was unable to speak or move her left side when she got to Christ Medical Center. Geraghty was able to remove the clot to restore blood flow, and she soon went into therapy, but has since been able to return home with Romeo.
Doctors often refer to the acronym FAST when discussing how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. FAST stands for facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to call 911.