A brave five-year-old Fylde girl saved her father’s life after he collapsed at home.
Jessica Smith came to the rescue as dad Kyle was left in agonising pain on his bedroom floor in St Annes by what was later diagnosed as a severe kidney infection.
While Kyle battled to stay conscious, Jessica alerted her grandparents to the situation by phone and then, under guidance from her ailing father, unlocked an outer door to drop the keys down to her grandad from an upstairs balcony in pitch darkness.
While an ambulance was called and grandad Andrew tended to Kyle, Jessica looked after her little sister Charlotte, just 18 months old at the time of the incident.
Kyle, who briefly lost consciousness after paramedics arrived, was rushed to hospital and spent four days there having tests and under treatment.
Now, Jessica’s remarkable efforts have been recognised with two major awards for her bravery and Kyle, 29, says: “There’s no doubt about it - she saved my life.
“She stayed remarkably calm throughout and as well as helping me, made sure Charlotte was okay.
“I dread to think how it might have all turned out if she hadn’t been there. She was so brave and I’m so proud.”
With Jessica and Charlotte already asleep, Kyle was getting ready for bed himself one Saturday night last November when he suddenly felt an agonising pain in his back.
As it rapidly worsened, Kyle struggled to stand and crawled over to where Jessica was sleeping, woke her and she was able to call Kyle’s mum and dad Elaine and Andrew via a shortcut number on the phone.
They immediately dashed round by car from their home across town but then, with no spare key readily available, came the challenge of how they could gain access.
The only feasible way was via a rear balcony and Kyle and Andrew were able to guide Jessica to unlock the door and drop the keys down.
“When I got up there, Kyle was in agony and there is no doubt Jessica’s actions made all the difference to the situation,” said Andrew, 50, who works at BAE Systems in Warton and is a trained first aider, who spent more than 20 years in the Royal Air Force.
“She showed remarkable calmness for her age but it was typical of her attitude of always being eager to help others.
“We are so proud of her.”
At the time, what was causing Kyle’s pain was a mystery and it took several rounds of tests to get to the root of the problem.
After his hospital stay and further treatment as an outpatient, he returned to his job as a warehouseman in St Annes and proudly accompanied Jessica to the Fylde Rotary Respect Awards ceremony at AKS school, where she was honoured twice over – with a special award for courage from Captain Adam Diver, one of the judges, a well as a Respect Award.
She was nominated for the latter by her school, Clifton Primary, where head teacher Rachel Legge said: ““I am so proud of Jessica.
“Undoubtedly her quick-thinking saved her dad’s life.
“For a young girl to be so sensible and level-headed in a situation like that is incredible.
“She thoroughly deserved her award.”
Former Fylde mayor Coun John Singleton, who founded the Respect Awards during his time as first citizen last year, said: “It was a wonderful effort by Jessica.
”For a child of that age to react in such a calm way in such a situation is truly remarkable and she deserves any and all accolades which come her way.”
John Edwards, president of Lytham Rotary who hosted awards with the presidents of Kirkham and St Annes, respectively Allan Wilman and Matthew Whilley, said: “We were delighted to recognise the remarkable efforts of a very special young lady who displayed courage of the highest order.”
Captain Diver, of the Second Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, based at Weeton, said: “What a great example of the young kids today. It was an honour to be on the judging panel and present the courage award to Jessica for saving her dad’s life.”