Wednesday, 3 October 2012

6 year old Connor Saves Diabetic Father

ALL he wanted after waking up thirsty in bed one night was to ask his dad for a glass of water.

But this drink quickly turned into something more dangerous for six-year-old Connor Hoyland when he came downstairs to find his dad, Derek, who has type one diabetes, in the family living room suffering a hypoglycemic attack.

The attack – the result of Derek’s blood-sugar levels plunging after he’d spent the evening “running around daft” to get Connor and his little sister, Amy, two, ready for bed – could have resulted in hospitalisation and even coma.

Amazingly, Connor, a P2 pupil at Penicuik’s Strathesk Primary, kept calm, offered his dad a biscuit, unlocked the front door and picked up a mobile phone to ring his mum, Clair, who was at work at Beeslack High.

Clair then rushed home to administer an emergency glucose injection and stabilise Derek’s blood-sugar levels.

Today, Connor’s parents paid tribute to their son and his composure under pressure, which they said saved his dad from becoming seriously ill.

Derek, 47, a staff trainer for Scottish Widows in Edinburgh, said: “Basically I just blacked out, I can’t really remember much about the attack.

“When I’m looking after the kids, I’m running around daft about them and that can have an effect. How much a particular type of activity can affect your blood sugar if you are diabetic can be quite unpredictable.

“I was trying to get tea as well and I took something to eat and thought it should be enough. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for everything I was doing to keep things under control and it got to the stage where I couldn’t recover.

“But Connor did brilliantly for a six-year-old – he was really calm and collected, and able to handle it all very well.”

Clair, 38, who works as a learning support assistant, said she and her husband had not hidden his diabetes from their children, and had given Connor instructions on what to do if his dad ever suffered an attack.

She said: “I knew Derek was way past the stage of me being able to do anything over the phone and I was panicky when I left work.

“But Connor was absolutely fine. I just cannot believe how much he carried out everything we told him to do to a T. I remember afterwards I was jumping around in the school playground when I was telling people about it.”

Although he came downstairs during the attack last month to find his dad sweating, clammy and disoriented, Connor told the News he did not feel scared or worried.

He said: “When I found him, I thought something was wrong. I offered him a biscuit, but he just did not want it. So I phoned mum’s work and spoke to her and she said she was coming home.

“I was OK, I did not feel worried at all. I’m really happy about what I did.”

Bosses at the Scottish Ambulance Service, who presented Connor with a certificate of commendation last week, praised his actions.

A spokesman said: “For someone so young, Connor showed real presence of mind to stay so calm and call his mum, which was exactly the right thing to do.”