A NINE-year-old girl who came to the aid of her sick mother has received a bravery award from the First Minister – just hours before her mum’s funeral.
Leah Grant, from Linlithgow, was just seven years old when she gave life-saving help to her mother Grace, who was suffering a seizure.
The youngster had learned what to do if a parent falls ill from watching Children In Need the week before, and checked her mum’s breathing before calmly dialling 999 and running to neighbours.
Paramedics arrived quickly and her mum recovered.
Leah was one of only 30 people to receive a Brave@Heart award at Edinburgh Castle last week after her quick actions led the emergency services to Grace in their Avontoun Park home.
However, the awards night was a bittersweet celebration for Leah and dad Bobby, 46, as Grace died on September 30 from a brain tumour, her funeral coming less than 24 hours after the national awards.
Bobby said: “Grace knew about the award and that Leah would be receiving it from the First Minister – we kept telling her about it, and she was very proud.
“I am very proud of Leah and the way she has handled things after her mum became ill and passed away.”
Following Grace’s seizure in November 2009, she underwent an operation in February 2010 to remove a brain tumour.
Bobby added: “It affected her speech and sight but she just got on with things. But they say a tumour can be like an octopus – you get the main part but there are arms and legs that go all over the place.”
The tumour returned this year and Grace was admitted to St John’s and then Edinburgh’s Western General in July. Latterly she moved to be closer to her family at St Michael’s Hospital, where Bobby said “everyone was brilliant”.
Leah was praised for her “bravery and quick thinking” and hailed a “hero” by First Minister Alex Salmond. He said: “The Brave@Heart Awards celebrate people who have shown exceptional bravery – people like Leah Grant. Each winner has stepped out of ordinary life and shown extraordinary valour.”
David Simpson, headteacher at Linlithgow Primary, where Leah is in P5, said: “We are all thrilled that Leah has been rewarded for showing such courage at the time her mother first became unwell. All of us would be proud of our children if they acted as sensibly and bravely as Leah did.”
The funeral took place at St Michael’s Parish Church and Kingscavil Cemetery last week.