An eight-year-old girl saved her own father’s life after hearing him gasping for breath in the middle of the night – while she was getting herself a glass of water.
Rochelle Ramsey became her father’s hero after she heard him struggling to breathe in the night – which turned out to be pneumonia and septic shock.
The eight-year-old schoolgirl had been getting a glass of water at 3am on September 16, and woke up mum Sheryl Oribine, 37, after hearing dad, Chris Ramsey, 38, gasping.
Sheryl called an ambulance to their home in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde and Chris, who suffers with multiple sclerosis (MS), was rushed to the nearest hospital.
Chris’ condition means he is unable to walk and has a very weak immune system – so it could have been fatal for him if his daughter hadn’t stepped in.
Sheryl, Chris’ full-time carer, said: “Rochelle ran into the room and we realised Chris’ teeth were chattering but his temperature was through the roof.
“I remember the paramedic telling me ‘your partner needs to get to hospital right now’.
“Then they told me ‘If it wasn’t for your wee girl, he would have died’ – and Rochelle had the biggest smile on her face when I told her she saved her daddy’s life.
“I’ll never forget that night for the rest of my life – if Rochelle hadn’t stepped in, I would have woken up and found Chris dead in the bed.
“Other eight-year-olds might have brushed it off but she knew something was wrong – she’s his guardian angel in disguise.
“Chris keeps saying ‘I can’t believe I’m still alive’ and calls Rochelle his ‘little hero’ – which is exactly what she is.”
Chris developed MS in 2018 and his fiancé Sheryl had watched the condition grow worse – where he eventually needed to use an electric wheelchair.
His immune system had also grown worse and the 38-year-old would regularly end up in hospital after picking up infections – and he had recently been treated for a chest infection.
The family hoped he was on the mend – until Rochelle heard a worrying sound in the middle of the night when she popped to the sink for a glass of water.
After hearing dad Chris gasping for breath over the sound of the tap running, she could tell something was wrong – and darted into her parents room to wake her mum.
Sheryl said: “When I turned around and saw him, I was in total shock.
“I’ve never seen anyone shaking so much and his teeth were chattering.
“It was a horrendous experience, he was deteriorating before my eyes.”
After calling an ambulance, paramedics arrived at the house and told how they suspected he was suffering from sepsis.
He was blue-lighted to Inverclyde Royal Hospital while Covid-19 measures meant terrified Rochelle and Sheryl had to wait at home.
When they later visited, doctors had stabilised Chris with an oxygen machine and medication – and Sheryl was informed he had pneumonia as a result of his earlier chest infection.
The pneumonia – which had caused him to shiver intensely with his teeth chattering – had developed into sepsis and Chris had been suffering with septic shock.
Sheryl recalled doctors explaining how close Chris had got to death when he arrived at the high dependency ward – his oxygen levels had plummeted while his heart rate had risen dramatically.
They said if he hadn’t got to hospital when he did, he would likely have passed away in his bed – meaning Rochelle had saved his life.
Sheryl said: “To hear how close he came to death was terrifying but I was so proud of our little girl in that moment.”
Chris spent a further three days in hospital before being discharged to recover at home with a prescription of strong antibiotics.
Sheryl told how he is doing well and is grateful for his ‘guardian angel’ – who had been diligently attending to his every need since he came home.
She said: “While he was in hospital, all Rochelle could do was ask when Daddy would be coming home.
“I offered to buy her whatever toy she wanted but she didn’t care, she just missed Chris.
“Since he’s been home, he’s been giving Rochelle lots of cuddles and calling her his ‘little hero’.
“He keeps saying he can’t believe he’s still alive and he’s so grateful for her.”
Reflecting on the experience, Sheryl said: “I will forever be grateful for what Rochelle did – and we are both so proud of her.
“Other eight-year-olds might have brushed it off and gone back to bed, but she knew something was wrong.
“If it weren’t for her, I would have woken up in the morning and found Chris dead in the bed – and have had to tell Rochelle her daddy died.
“Not many eight-year-olds can say they saved a parent’s life – she’s his guardian angel.”