Boy, 5, with autism gets award for 999 call after mum collapsed

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Charley-Anne Semple

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Charley-Anne Semple (left), pictured with husband Danny, was at home with their children Annabella and Tyler when she collapsed

A five-year-old boy with autism who called 999 after his mother collapsed has been rewarded for his bravery.

Charley-Anne Semple, 27, was at home in Thurrock, Essex, last Friday when she slumped to the floor.

Tyler phoned for an ambulance and fetched a neighbour with his sister, Annabella, three, who also has autism.

The National Autistic Society said: “It’s a fantastic feat for any five-year-old, but even more so for a child on the autism spectrum.”

‘Poisoned apple’

Mrs Semple, who has a pre-existing physical condition, fell unconscious after getting back from a “busy day” with the children.

“Tyler told emergency services I was dead and that I had eaten a poisoned apple from an ugly old witch,” she said.

“They may have thought it was a hoax call, as he just kept repeating the full address and he wasn’t answering direct questions.

“But I think he told them ‘I am Tyler, I have autism’, so I think that helped and they could understand him a little bit better.”

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Charley-Anne Semple

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Mrs Semple said the paramedics were fantastic with Tyler and Annabella

The call operator told Tyler to walk with his sister to a neighbour’s house to ask her to sit with them.

To add to the drama, the neighbour had to climb through a window after the door slammed shut behind the children.

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NAtional Autistic Society

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Annabella and Tyler were both praised by the National Autistic Society for being brave and staying calm

“I’m really proud of both of the children for remaining calm,” said Mrs Semple.

“My children have proved themselves, that they can cope in this situation.

“Tyler struggles with conversing, so to stay on the phone for 10 minutes, give our full address, take instructions – those are all things he finds very difficult.”

Asked if she thought he had saved her life, she said: “I wasn’t exactly critical but you never know, once you are unconscious anything could happen.”

The National Autistic Society gave Tyler a certificate of bravery and Annabella a “well done” for giving her mother kisses and stroking her hand until paramedics arrived.

The charity said: “Many children with autism find it very hard to communicate with people they know, let alone picking up the phone and talking to strangers.”

The East of England Ambulance Service said Tyler knew exactly what to do and was very brave “in what must have been a very frightening situation for him”.