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My Hero Daughter

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

My Hero Daughter thumbnailTara Flanagan and her daughter Nicole who raised the alarm after her mother suffered a 15-minute seizure

PLEASE help, mummy s fallen and she won't wake up. Please help me, miss.

These were the words of petrified Rathfriland girl, Nicole Flanagan to her classroom assistant after her mother, Tara suffered a seizure in their Ashleigh Meadows home.

Iveagh PS pupil Nicole (9) has autism, epilepsy and complex learning difficulties.

Her proud mum is now recovering at home and said: She knew she was the oldest there and had to do something, she is my wee hero.

The quick-thinking young girl also sought help by running over to a neighbour's house in just her socks to raise the alarm that mummy has fallen and won't wake up .

Still recovering from her terrifying ordeal, mother-of-three Tara has spoken of her incredible pride in Nicole who potentially saved her life.

Before events unfolded, the mother and daughter had just returned home from the trip of a lifetime to Lapland.

It had been organised for Nicole through the charity Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust and she was nominated for the trip through her epilepsy consultant, Dr Cassidy.

Tara explained what happened on the day of her seizure: I haven t been very well this past while and I am currently being tested for a medical condition.

On Tuesday (20 December) I was in the house with my three children, three-year-old Ella, five-year-old Corey and Nicole.

Ella had been asking me to make her toast, I got up to go into the kitchen to make her some and it was then that I collapsed.

Tara s seizure lasted for around 15 minutes and Nicole raised the alarm to get help for her mother.

She could see that I wouldn t wake up and she didn t even have shoes on, she just ran over in her socks to our neighbour.

Being the eldest child I think she felt she had to sound the alarm and get help.

She knocked on our neighbour's door and they also ran over to the house. Sometime between all this, Nicole got my phone and called her classroom assistant, Jenna Sloane.

I was heartbroken when Jenna later told me that Nicole said to her: Please help, mummy's fallen and she won't wake up. Please help me, miss .

Jenna, who also lives locally, came down to the house and told Tara she couldn't believe that Nicole had the foresight to phone her and raise the alarm.

Tara added: When Jenna arrived to the house I was still having a seizure and my neighbour had phoned for an ambulance. The paramedics advised to stay with me as I hadn't come round yet.

"My mum ended up taking me to the hospital instead of waiting for the ambulance at this stage. Our neighbours and Jenna said it was the scariest thing they had ever seen."

Tara was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry where she undergone a number tests, including one for meningitis.

It was feared the Rathfriland mother would have to spend two weeks in hospital over Christmas, however, she was discharged a couple of days after her seizure in time for Christmas.

Tara is incredibly proud of her eldest daughter.

"I couldn't wait to get out of hospital and give her a big hug. She knew she was the oldest there and had to do something, she is my wee hero. I am sure it was a scary experience for all of the children, especially when I heard what Nicole had said to Jenna," she said.

Speaking about Nicole's trip to Lapland before Tara took ill, she said: "Nicole was very nervous about going away and taking off on the flight in case it didn't agree with her and brought on some seizures, but when we landed in Finland she was completely amazed.

"She was delighted to finally see snow! In the airport we were greeted by real elves."

Tara and Nicole also got the chance to see Santa, decorate gingerbread hearts, go to elf school and watch a christmas show.

They also went on a reindeer ride, husky ride, mini skidoo and tobogganing.

Tara said Nicole loved all the outdoor activities and even on the plane home the party wasn't over.

"We all had our Christmas dinner, people sang songs, everyone had party hats and streamers and they decorated the whole plane then we were given souvenirs and gifts."

Nicole, who described the trip as "the best day ever", created memories and experiences that the mother and her 'hero' daughter will now cherish forever.

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