By Rachael Burford, local democracy reporter
A 10-year-old girl who saved her family’s lives after a carbon monoxide leak in their home has described how she managed to keep calm when she found her mother unconscious on the floor and minutes from death.
Rawda Mohamud, from Oval, Lambeth, was this week honoured by London Ambulance Service for her heroic actions, which saved her mother Anisa Abdirahman and twin brother Ridwan two days before Christmas last year.
The schoolgirl was woken up by the bleeping of the carbon monoxide alarm late on December 23.
She found Ms Abdirahman lying on the kitchen floor after being overcome by the deadly fumes and hitting her head as she collapsed.
Rawda, who was nine at the time, immediately dialled 999 and told the call handler her mother could not “stay awake or open her eyes”. Despite the carbon monoxide alarm ringing out in the background, she was able to give the operator her full address, postcode and phone number.
She then went next door and woke her neighbours to get them to warn them and help her family out of the flat.
Rawda said: “I didn’t expect London Ambulance Service to recognise me but it makes me feel good.
“I feel proud of myself for what I’ve done for my family. I think I managed to stay calm because I always knew everything would be ok.
“I would say to other children, be careful and be calm. You don’t believe something like this will happen to you but you never know. You should learn how to give your full address and learn your mum’s phone number.”
Doctors later told Ms Abdirahman had she been left for 10 more minutes she and her children may not have survived.
She said: “I didn’t know how sick I was until I got to hospital and the doctor said if I had been there on the floor another 10 minutes we could have all been gone. I’m so proud of Rawda. I started teaching both the children how to make a 999 call when they were four. All parents should teach their children – you never know if you will need help one day.”
Rawda was handed a “Life Savers” certificate by emergency medical technician Stuart Shelley, who treated the family on the night.
Mr Shelley said: “For a child that young to be so calm when something so traumatic has happened is just outstanding.
“She found her mum and immediately looked for her phone to call for an ambulance. She was able to remember her full address with postcode and her mum’s phone number and then she managed to wake her neighbours.
“Her actions that night saved lives and deserve to be recognised.”
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