A 9-year-old boy will be honored tomorrow in a 1 p.m. ceremony at Joppatowne Elementary School for calling paramedics to his family's Rumsey Island home after his mother had fallen down the stairs and lost consciousness.
Campbell "Cam" Hawley, a fourth-grader, was in the family room about 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 when his mother, Karen Hawley, fell and appeared lifeless.
He first rushed to alert his grandmother, who lives with the family, but the 89-year-old vision-impaired woman could not help. She would have jeopardized the success of the laser eye surgery she had had that day, if she bent over to help her daughter-in-law.
The boy told his grandmother not to bend over and dashed to the kitchen where he dialed 911 and calmly told emergency dispatcher Barry Bunker his mother had knocked herself out.
He gave his address and telephone number and Mr. Bunker alerted paramedics from the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company.
"Cam" stayed on the line with Mr. Bunker, providing answers to key medical questions until Deputy Sheriff Kevin Thomas arrived just before the ambulance.
Mrs. Hawley was taken to Fallston General Hospital for emergency treatment.
Mrs. Hawley and her husband, Kenneth, were understandably proud of "Cam's" quick-thinking in such a crisis, but Mr. Bunker and others from the Emergency Operations Center were most impressed after discovering the young boy suffers from a genetic disability which affects learning.
When "Cam" was 3 years old, an electrical fire destroyed the family's home, and he thought the fire trucks brought the fire, Mrs. Hawley said. "Things sometimes get scrambled in his processing of information and it takes extra effort for him to straighten it out," she said.
Learning how to use the 911 emergency service, a lesson stressed both at school and at home, is one which "Cam" obviously has mastered. Tomorrow, the county's 911 center will honor "Cam" with a gold 911 pin and a 911 certificate for saving his mother's life. County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann also will present him with a proclamation.