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Nine-year-old saves mum’s life by calling 999 when she was in a diabetic coma

23 May 2024 3 minute read
Dana Metz with her son Harley, who saved her life by calling 999 when she slipped into a diabetic coma.

A nine-year-old boy has been called a “hero” by his mother after he saved her life by calling 999 when she was in a diabetic coma.

Nine-year-old Harley Metz saved his mother’s life by raising the alarm when he found her severely unwell at home.

Harley, who is a member of St John Ambulance Cymru’s Aberdare and Foundry Town Badger programme, called 999 to request help for his mother Dana, who is type 1 diabetic and also had been struggling with a long-standing dental pain.


Her blood sugars had spiralled out of control as a result of complications relating to an infection in her mouth.

Her airways had begun to close up and she was suffering severe pain and vomiting while Harley and his four- year-old sister slept.

Fortunately, she had discussed her diabetes with Harley and thanks to the first aid knowledge picked up from St John Ambulance Cymru he was able to call 999, raise the alarm with a neighbour and also care for his little sister until help arrived.

Harley noticed something was wrong when his mother was still in bed at the time they would be leaving the house to go to school. He went into her bedroom to check on Dana and see if she needed help.

Dana said: “I was lying in bed barely breathing and I can remember him asking me if I was okay and did I need help?”

Somehow, I managed to say I needed help and then I was out of it again. The next thing I remember is being loaded up into the ambulance.

“Harley had called 999 and he was incredible. He saved my life, took care of his 4-year-old sister, went to get a neighbour and he stayed calm. I am so incredibly lucky to be here and have Harley.

“He’s a really special little boy and he has so much ambition in life. He’s kind, caring, respectful and not to mention a real lifesaver. He’s my hero and my son.”


She added: “Badgers is absolutely amazing for these children. First aid is extremely important for kids to learn, because look what happened. If Harley didn’t go to Badgers he wouldn’t have the knowledge he has. He has been a Badger for a few years now and he absolutely loves it.”

Maria Roderick, Harley’s St John Ambulance Cymru volunteer Badger Leader added: “Because he attends Badgers, he knew what to do when his mother became unwell and he saved her life. I am so proud of Harley and am one proud Badger Leader.”

You can find out more about Badgers, which engages 5-11 year olds with a range of activities and experiences here. 

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