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Sofia, three, calls 999 after mother collapses

Published 02/12/2016

Sofia Harman, with her mother Patricia Hannington (EssexPolice/PA)
Sofia Harman, with her mother Patricia Hannington (EssexPolice/PA)

A "scared" three-year-old girl called 999 and helped to save the life of her mother who collapsed while she was painting.

Little Sofia Harman raised the alarm after her mother, Patricia, who suffers from a rare medical condition which affects her heart, fell ill at the family home in Clacton, Essex.

Essex Police released a recording of the phone call, which lasts just over two minutes, as the youngster was presented with a bravery certificate.

In the recording, call handler Julie Buckley establishes the situation and tells Sofia: "Well done. Listen to me, you are the cleverest little girl I know"

Sofia says "I'm scared", and Ms Buckley reassures her: "You're not scared Sofia, because listen, you are the bravest little girl I've ever spoken to and you're doing so well, and you're talking to me and you don't need to be scared."

Ms Buckley tells her that help is on its way, and keeps her talking about her pet dog as she uses the force intelligence systems to establish the address that the call has been made from.

She warns Sofia there might be a "big bang" on her front door and tells her not to be frightened as it will be an "ambulance man".

Noise is then heard in the background as Ms Hannington's partner Sam arrives home from work, picks up the phone and speaks to Ms Buckley.

Sofia and her family were later invited to police headquarters in Chelmsford where the youngster was presented with a bravery certificate.

Deputy Chief Constable Matt Horne said: "We are all very proud of Sofia and our emergency operator Julie.

"Sofia, having just turned three years old knew exactly what to do when her mum collapsed - this is because her mum took the time to explain and teach Sofia this important life skill.

"We have released the recording today because Sofia's family want other families to know that we must start teaching our children how to call for help as early as possible.

"To be able to meet this very special little girl, and to see her meet with Julie, was lovely."

Call handler Ms Buckley said: "For a child of her age, it was amazing that she knew exactly what to do. It was great meeting her and seeing just what it means to her family."

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