Bravery award for eight-year-old boy who saved his mother's life

An eight-year-old boy whose quick thinking and bravery saved his mother's life has been given a bravery award.

Jakob and mum Sally in the ambulance with Drift the Border Collie
Jakob and mum Sally in the ambulance with Drift the Border Collie

Sally McGill and her son Jakob were heading to a chip shop to buy a fish supper for themselves, Sally's husband Craige and her daughter Fern on July 30 this year.

The plan was to meet up in Arley later that evening after Craige and Fern had been canoeing on the Severn.

However, while driving Sally suffered a severe asthma attack which left her coughing heavily and struggling to breathe. She was able to pull over in a car park, and that is when eight-year-old Jakob sprang into action.

"When I cough that much it usually means my airways are closing up," Sally explained.

"Jakob rallied round and got my portable nebuliser for me. He set it all up, he loaded it with the medicine I need, and then he said 'mum, I'm going to call the ambulance'."

Jakob and mum Sally in the ambulance with Drift the Border Collie

Sally suffers from what is known as brittle asthma, among other health issues. Both her son and daughter are a great help to her whenever she needs it - but it was the sudden onset, out in the car, which made this attack so dangerous.

On the phone with the emergency call handler, Jakob helped his mum to administer a shot of epinephrine from a pen, as at the time it wasn't clear if it was an asthma attack or anaphylactic shock.

Then Jakob went to look for the ambulance to make sure they arrived. Sally said she was concerned about him going out to the road to look as he has learning difficulties, and struggles with sensory processing, but he handled it all perfectly.

"He was so calm through it all, and then he suddenly dissolved into tears," Sally explained.

Jakob was given a bravery award last week

"He said to the woman on the phone 'I'm scared, I don't think mummy is going to make it'. I know the woman told him 'It's ok, mummy is going to be alright'.

Alveley First Responders' Mike Nixon was next on the scene to assist Sally, who recovered from her attack.

"I am so proud of him. That day in July, I was so amazed at what he did for me. It was a very emotional time for him.

"I really want him to meet the woman who took the 999 call as she was so helpful too at keeping him calm."

Jakob with his award for bravery

Jakob was given a Young Person of Outstanding Bravery Award from the CEO of the West Midlands Ambulance Service, Anthony Marsh, last Friday.

Members of the Alveley Community First Responders travelled to Bridgnorth to meet Jakob and present him with the award.

The Alveley group said on social media last week: "Jakob thoroughly deserves his award and his proud mum, dad and sister were there to see him receive it."

The emergency workers who arrived to assist Jakob's mum said that they were all amazed by his bravery.

Jakob with his mum and Alveley First Responders

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “It’s great to see eight-year-old Jakob displaying such bravery at such a young age.

"Knowing how to make a 999-call and being calm while doing so is something to be incredibly proud of.

"We encourage all young people to learn skills like the ones Jakob displayed here so that everyone knows how to call 999 in an emergency, as it really can make a life saving difference."

If you’d like to learn more about how to make a 999 call, our Little Lifesavers resources aimed at young children can show you how to do that, visit

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