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Boy, 6, helps save grandmother from diabetic coma

Posted May 31, 2011

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— A Linden woman was recovering Tuesday after she says her 6-year-old grandson saved her from falling into a potentially lethal diabetic coma over the holiday weekend.

On Sunday afternoon, despite the sweltering heat, Peggy Gales decided to take Corey Campbell and the family dog Bugsy down to Little River, a creek off U.S. Highway 401 in Cumberland County, near the N.C. Highway 217 junction and the Harnett County line.

"We went past the bridge. We were going to go up to the store and get something to drink because it was really hot," Gales said. "I started to feel a little bit woozy."

She grabbed her cellphone, but her blood sugar had already plunged to 36, a dangerous low, and she couldn't speak.

"I couldn't remember where we were at," she said. "I get delusional ... I really don't remember what happened."

Corey, a kindergartener at Lillington-Shawtown Elementary School in Lillington, dialed 911 and then directed dispatchers to find his grandmother and him in the woods 1.4 miles from Gales' home.

Corey Campbell Boy, 6, helps save grandmother from diabetic coma

Firefighter Norman Moore, one of the first responders to arrive to help Gales, saw Corey waving his arms, trying to get his attention. He praised the boy's calm demeanor.

"To be able to dial 911 and pretty much save your grandma's life, that's pretty amazing," Moore said.

Moore said it was Corey's careful description of the area that allowed emergency personnel to locate them quickly.

Corey said even though he was scared, he was glad when emergency medical technicians arrived at the scene.

"They came and put a lot of Band-Aids and medicine on her," he said.

Moore said the rescue highlighted the need for parents or guardians to teach children how to use the 911 system.

"Either his mother or his grandmother, whoever taught him to use 911, did a great job," Moore said.


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  • SouthernGirlJD Jun 3, 2011

    Good job!

  • samanthawood2006 Jun 1, 2011

    Great to see some good news!

  • DahlingBella Jun 1, 2011

    What a smart little boy and level headed to boot! You did an outstanding job!

  • ApexGirl Jun 1, 2011

    Unjustified--I'm glad no one in your family is diabetic, because you obviously know nothing about it. And either extremely high or extremely low blood sugars can cause horrific problems in very short times, unfortunately. Deaths from situations like this are MUCH more common than you'd think. I know--my daughter is a Type 1 diabetic.

  • bjgupton Jun 1, 2011

    no, Unjustified, you never forget you are diabetic. If you are trying to control your blood sugar by eating correctly, then this can happen in just a few minutes - especially if you are walking and it is hot!!!! It is a constant part of your life and most times I keep something with me at all times to help this situation. So glad Corey was able to help and be his grandma's hero!!!!

  • cwood3 Jun 1, 2011

    Great job little guy-great job 911 dispatcher. The system worked!! HURRAY!!

  • mypookie1 Jun 1, 2011

    What a great job little guy!Glad Grandma is doing ok.


  • kewlmom Jun 1, 2011

    Awesome job little man!

  • DougWare.NET Jun 1, 2011


    You are correct. As a former EMT I can tell you without a doubt that if her blood sugar was low, then it's Insulin Shock. Once you get someone's glucose back up, it's remarkable how quickly someone goes from being completely unresponsive to being wide awake wondering what everyone is making a big deal about. Either way, good job Corey!

  • tewc Jun 1, 2011

    Why so bitter unjustifed - why even say that?