Rochelle Ramsey, eight, got up in the night to get herself a glass of water, but when she noticed a noise coming from her parents’ room she thought something was wrong – and her quick thinking saved her dad’s life
When eight-year-old Rochelle Ramsey woke up in the middle of the night, she decided she wanted a glass of water before going back to sleep.
So she climbed out of bed and walked down the hallway towards the kitchen.
But as she walked past her parents’ room, she heard a noise.
Her dad, Chris Ramsey, 38, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was gasping for breath.
Realising something was wrong, little Rochelle woke up her mum, Sheryl Oribine, 37, who then called an ambulance.
Chris was rushed to hospital where he was treated for pneumonia and septic shock.
Due to Chris’s condition, he’s unable to walk and has a weak immune system, so if Rochelle hadn’t raised the alarm, it could have been fatal.
Sheryl, who is Chris’s full-time carer, said: “Rochelle ran into the room and we realised Chris’ teeth were chattering but his temperature was through the roof.
“I remember the paramedic telling me ‘your partner needs to get to hospital right now’.”
She added they said: “If it wasn’t for your wee girl, he would have died.”
“Rochelle had the biggest smile on her face when I told her she saved her daddy’s life,” Sheryl said.
“I’ll never forget that night for the rest of my life – if Rochelle hadn’t stepped in, I would have woken up and found Chris dead in the bed.”
She praised her “guardian angel” daughter for taking the initiative to know something was wrong and sounding the alarm.
“Chris keeps saying ‘I can’t believe I’m still alive’ and calls Rochelle his ‘little hero’ – which is exactly what she is.”
Chris was first diagnosed with MS in 2018 and fiancé Sheryl has watched his condition worsen to the point that he now needs an electric wheelchair.
As his immune system got weaker, Chris regularly ended up in hospital after picking up infections. He’d recently been treated for a chest infection.
Having been discharged, the family thought Chris was recovering well – until Rochelle heard him struggling that night.
When Rochelle ran into the room to wake up her mum, Sheryl recalls being in “total shock.”
She said: “I’ve never seen anyone shaking so much and his teeth were chattering.
“It was a horrendous experience, he was deteriorating before my eyes.”
After he was whisked away in an ambulance, Covid restrictions meant Sheryl and Rochelle had an agonising wait for news at home.
When she spoke to doctors, Sheryl was told Chris’s pneumonia – which caused the symptoms of shivering – had developed into sepsis and he’d gone into septic shock.
They added his oxygen levels were dangerously low when he got to hospital and had come very close to death. If Rochelle hadn’t woken up her mum that night, he would likely have died in his bed.
Sheryl said: “To hear how close he came to death was terrifying but I was so proud of our little girl in that moment.”
Chris spent a further three days in hospital before being discharged to recover at home with a prescription of strong antibiotics. He’s now doing well and can’t stop gushing over his heroic daughter.
She said: “While he was in hospital, all Rochelle could do was ask when Daddy would be coming home.
“I offered to buy her whatever toy she wanted but she didn’t care, she just missed Chris.
“Since he’s been home, he’s been giving Rochelle lots of cuddles and calling her his ‘little hero’.”
Praising her daughter’s actions, she said: “If it weren’t for her, I would have woken up in the morning and found Chris dead in the bed – and have had to tell Rochelle her daddy died.
“Not many eight-year-olds can say they saved a parent’s life – she’s his guardian angel.”