Local News

Boy, 6, helps save grandmother from diabetic coma

Posted May 31, 2011 6:56 p.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2011 7:22 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.