A Rewarding Job
Parents don’t have an easy job. Anyone who has raised a child can tell you that, and most of us realize how hard it is for our parents even as we’re growing up ourselves. However, parenting can also be very rewarding, and often it can be so when you least expect it.
Keep Them Safe
As a parent, your top job is to keep your kids safe, especially when they are in their younger years. Small children can be accident prone and of course, too adventurous for their own good at times. As a parent, you must always be watching for dangers that your child is not anticipating.
Whether it’s cutting up food so your toddler won’t choke on their dinner or teaching your teenager the rules of the road so that they can drive safely, moms and dads are constantly looking out for the health and well-being of their children. But sometimes, children do the same for their parents!
A Child Hero
In one such case, a young father had no idea just how much he would need his daughter to repay the favor. In what would literally be a life or death situation, a little girl named Maisie would come through in a big way for her hero – her dad.
The Donoghue Family
In a lazy little suburb of Liverpool called Wallasey, the Donoghues made their home. Andy and Hannah were the mom and dad of the family, which lived in the United Kingdom. The couple was your typical happy family that liked to spend time together whenever possible.
Three Happy Children
Andy and Hannah Donoghue are the parents of three children. They have a son named Aaron who loved to play soccer and is your typical 10 year old. They also have a little girl named Isla who is three years old and the apple of her parents’ eye. Then there’s Maisie, who’s 6 and loves to help her parents out.
Like most fathers of young children, Andy Donoghue is always busy. Between work, other obligations, and chasing after three kids, Andy has his hands full. He’s just 32 years old and quite active and healthy, which helps him get through long days with the kids and work.
Quite A Team
As mentioned before, the couple’s middle daughter, Maisie, is quite the helper around the house. At six years old, she really takes pride in helping her parents whenever possible. In particular, she seems to enjoy teaming up with her father, Andy, to work in the garden.
Andy and his daughter, Maisie, had spent many a Sunday afternoon out in the garden, which is what they were doing on June 25, 2017. It was a beautiful day and father and daughter alike were looking forward to getting a lot done and enjoying one another’s company.
Not Feeling Well
Doctors will often tell you that when something happens medically, it happens all of a sudden. Many people have reported feeling just fine and having very few warning signs before having a catastrophic health event. This was the case on June 25 with Andy.
A Bad Sign
On this particular day, Andy and Maisie were the only two members of the Donoghue family to be at home. Hannah Donoghue was out with the other two children, Aaron and Isla. Everything was going great until Andy turned to Maisie. “I’m not feeling well,” he told her at the time.
It was certainly a little unexpected that Andy would suddenly not feel well, as Andy had always been the picture of health throughout his life. Like any other 32-year-old in good health, the active father just figured that whatever was bothering him, it would simply pass and he would get on with his gardening.
Not Getting Better
However, like so many other adults who have had sudden health events, Andy realized after a moment that the bad feeling wasn’t going away. What’s even worse, he quickly realized that the problem he was having was not minor at all and was actually quite serious.
Little Maisie Knew
Kids can be very intuitive, and although she didn’t know exactly what was going on, little Maisie knew that something was wrong and that it was something important. At the time, Andy said that he was feeling really funny and he went inside, with Maisie following. He told her he couldn’t move one of his arms.
A Brave Girl
As you can imagine, this kind of event is very scary for a little girl who is used to seeing her dad as pretty much bulletproof. Maisie noticed that his face was kind of drooping to one side and that he was still unable to move one of his arms.
Jumping Into Action
For you and me, this kind of episode may be the telltale sign of a stroke, but as a 6-year-old, Maisie wouldn’t have thought of it that way. Still, she knew that even though she was scared, she had to do something since her mother wasn’t home. She jumped into action at once.
Maisie was in a tough spot for a girl of her age. She knew that she had to help her dad, but she also knew that she wouldn’t be able to do it alone. So she did the next best thing: she looked for her father’s phone. Within seconds, she was able to find it, pick it up and call for help.
Andy was in big trouble by now, but he managed to use the hand that he could move to help Maisie unlock the phone. “He gave it to Maisie who called her nan who lives two minutes away and told her about her dad not being well,” said Hannah to the media later on.
A Nearby Relative
As a kindergarten-age child, Maisie did not yet know how to call for the police or an ambulance, but she was smart enough to do the next best thing. She called the relative that lived closest to the house, knowing that she could get help quickly for her dad that way.
Maisie was close with her grandma, who lived very close by. She instantly thought to call her, and thankfully, her “nan” (as Maisie affectionately referred to her) immediately answered when she saw a call coming from her son’s phone. If not, things could have ended up being much, much worse.
Help Is On The Way
In a situation like Andy’s, a quick response is absolutely vital. Fortunately, Maisie’s quick reaction helped him get medical attention in minutes. After her grandmother answered and found out was going on, she called the ambulance to go pick up her son at his house.
Doctors always say that when a stroke occurs, getting immediate medical help is pivotal. “Because he was seen to within the hour it gives him a much better chance at recovery,” said Hannah. He was able to move his arm after the episode and had good reflexes afterward, too.
Stroke Of Bad Luck
Andy went to the hospital and the staff there could not believe what they were seeing, especially because of his age and activity level. Andy had definitely suffered a stroke that day, as evidenced by all of the signs and symptoms that he had experienced.
Doctors could not believe that a 32-year-old who was active and in great health could suffer a stroke, especially since it more typically happens to patients in their retirement years. Even in their amazement, they made sure everyone knew that Maisie’s quick reactions were the key to Andy’s recovery.
Congratulations Are In Order
By the time Maisie got to visit her dad in the hospital, she was excited to see him but unaware that she would be treated like a hero. “One of the nurses shook her hand and said, ‘You saved your dad’s life,’ and I just broke down,” said Hannah. “It really brought it home.”
Recovering from a stroke is very difficult at any age, and the severity of Andy’s stroke has made it even harder. He was frustrated by the fact that he’d lost much of his ability to speak after the accident, but still made good progress as the doctors worked to do whatever they could to help him.
In a lot of ways, Andy’s situation has served as a warning to others. Although strokes for people of Andy’s age and health level are unlikely, they can happen and people must be prepared to act when they do. “The other people in his ward are all in their 70s, but it just goes to show everyone needs to be aware of it and it can happen to anyone,” Hannah said.
Andy has undergone many tests as doctors work to understand what exactly led to his stroke. Meanwhile, Hannah is hopeful that he can help others by raising awareness through all of the media attention. Maisie is quite a celebrity for helping to save her dad’s life.
Maisie’s mother, Hannah, is still in awe of her quick decision-making. “The fact she was even able to use the phone to dial her nan – and realizing that her name would be stored as ‘mum’ because it’s in her dad’s phone – amazed me,” Hannah said. Maisie even received an award at a school assembly for her quick thinking.
The Littlest Hero
You might think that Maisie is different from other 6-year-olds, but despite her heroism and the attention she has received, she’s quite typical for her age. “I can’t stop hugging and kissing her but she brushes it off, she doesn’t like too much of a fuss,” Hannah said, laughing.