Gig Harbor girl recognized for response to medical emergency
Dec 11, 2012 (The Peninsula Gateway (Gig Harbor - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Madeline Wareham of Gig Harbor didn't get hysterical when her dad, Matt, had a seizure last month in response to some medication he was taking. That's not to say she wasn't affected by seeing her dad having convulsions.
"Well, she heard daddy making a weird noise and me crying," the 6-year-old said, referencing her mother, Allison, who called 9-1-1.
That's what she told her classmates Wednesday when she was recognized with a Good Samaritan Award by Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One during a presentation in Shannon Clarke's kindergarten class at Harbor Heights Elementary School.
The whole Wareham clan was on hand for the presentation, including the girl's two younger siblings, 19-month-old Zach and 5-month-old Ava, both of whom have good reason to be proud of their big sister, although they probably aren't yet aware of that fact.
Wareham had the presence of mind to flag down the arriving paramedics and apprise them of the situation during the Nov. 9 incident.
"Yeah, she was great -- very mature," her proud father said, noting she kept a clear head during a situation that would've tested a lot of adults. "She didn't panic or anything. She did what needed to be done."
His daughter, he added, explained to on-scene medical personal what happened in pretty straight forward terms.
Nanette Tatom, prevention specialist with Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One, told students their classmate was being honored for helping her father, who was having a medical emergency.
"Yeah, it's called a seizure," chimed in Wareham, explaining that her dad had to be taken to a hospital. "They kept poking him with shots."
"We wanted to recognize Madeline for being very brave," Tatom said just before presentation of the award by Fire Chief John Burgess.
In handing over the Good Samaritan Award to Wareham, Burgess praised her ability to stay calm and communicate effectively with paramedics during a stressful situation.
As for the young girl herself, like any good hero, she was modest about the part she played in the incident, bashfully hiding behind the leg of her dad, who suffered no ill effects from the seizure he experienced.
"She doesn't like the attention," he said of his daughter.
Reporter Brett Davis can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @gateway_brett.
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