A Chicago police officer in the middle of her morning routine last year suffered a stroke, but her 7-year-old son realized something was wrong and called for help, saving his mother’s life.
On Dec. 21, Sherece Holland, 55, was helping her son Romeo brush his teeth when she started to have trouble speaking and moving her arms, according to a statement from Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Romeo ran to get his grandmother, who began to panic when she realized her daughter was displaying signs of a stroke, the hospital said. Romeo calmed his grandmother down and pressed the family’s emergency call button so that he could speak with dispatchers. Paramedics arrived and took his mother to Christ Medical Center for treatment.
“I had taught Romeo what to do in case of a health emergency with my mother. He knew to call for help, but I never would have imagined he’d use those skills to take care of me,” Holland said in the statement.
Holland suffered from a blot clot that blocked an artery leading to the left side of the brain, the hospital said. Her doctor, Scott Geraghty, removed the clot, which allowed blood to flow back into the brain.
“When she arrived, she was unable to say a word, and her right side was completely paralyzed,” said Dr. Geraghty in the statement.
Holland was discharged from therapy and is now back home with Romeo, according to the hospital.
“This story touches at the core of why getting patients to the hospital who are suspected to be having a stroke can be life-saving, and it’s all predicted on the fact that Romeo perceived something was wrong and acted to save his mom’s life,” said Dr. Melvin Wichter, chair of neurology and co-director of Neurosciences Institute, in the statement.
Romeo’s fast response prevented Holland from suffering brain damage or death and helped the family avoid what could have been a devastating Christmas, Wichter said in the statement.